|Council updated on possibilities of performance center|
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
Conservative estimates suggest that a performance center housed in the former Lynch Hardware building could make a profit of $65,750 during its first year of operation, Rocky Mount Town Council was told Monday night.
Assistant Town Manager Matt Hankins said that an assumptive estimate was calculated with the assistance of an experienced promoter.
"That profit figure was based on the performance center hosting 175 events, such as regular jam sessions, headline acts and touring acts with 350 seats per event," Hankins said.
The average ticket cost to attend the events is estimated at $16.50 per person.
Town officials believe the performance center would attract large numbers of people since the town is the eastern gateway to the Crooked Road Music Trail that stretches to Dickenson County.
"We really have the potential here for something special," Hankins said.
The performance center will require a general manager with experience in booking acts and an assistant manager who would handle the administrative area of the operation, Hankins said.
Council members Bobby Cundiff and Bobby Moyer raised several questions about the performance center when Hankins said alcohol would be sold at some events.
"I wouldn't want to attend an event with someone sitting next to me with beer breath," Cundiff said.
"This is no place for alcohol," Moyer added.
However, Jerry Greer said, "I don't see all these problems at places I go where alcohol is served. If you can't sell food and alcohol, you might as well put a 'for sale' sign on the building and sell it."
Bids were opened Friday for the contract to renovate the structure according to the designs by Hill Studio.
Price Building Inc. of Callaway was the apparent low bidder with a base bid of $2.2 million. Eight bids were submitted.
The bid will be reviewed by town staff and the architect to determine if the bid is in line with all specifications, Hankins said, and then the town's Performance Committee will review the bid and make a recommendation to council.
The town hopes to pay for the bulk of the cost of the performance center by selling historic tax credits and receiving funds from grants and foundations, Hankins said.