Is the Pavilion enjoying a empty sense of security?

Stu Whitney thinks that Darrin Smith’s new job as President of the Washington Pavilion will be smooth sailing. because gosh darnit folks (since the Pavilion charges for everything now, including the Arts Center) it really has become a place for everyone;

Was the Washington Pavilion truly a building for the masses? And just how much public money would Sioux Falls pour into it? (referring to the rock concert of Collective Soul and the shaking balcony).

This really came down to one thing, poor engineering and design. A few years after the incident and the fix, Arturo Sandoval played the Pavilion, he had every person in that hall dancing on their feet to a sold out show. I looked over at my boss at the time (I was lead usher), Jeff Venekamp and said, “Are you thinking what I am thinking?” He was, if Arturo would have played the great hall before Collective Soul, how would the architects blame Rock & Roll for their bad designs? You know, because Cuban Jazz is hardly the devil 🙂

It wasn’t R & R at fault or even those evil Cubans. Which has been proven throughout the years.

Then there is the ‘funding’.

The annual contribution of about $1.5 million from the city’s entertainment tax – primarily for expenses such as maintenance and utilities – comprises just 20 percent of the Pavilion’s operating budget of $7.5 million, with the city also providing capital improvement funds as needed.

Okay, a little clarity. If you continue to read the article, you will see the Pavilion cost around $32 million to complete instead of the $20 million actually pitched to voters (actually it is over $50 million to date). The entertainment tax mentioned above was also supposed to go bye-bye after the bonds were paid off, you know, those BS sunshine clauses people always talk about. Didn’t happen, they continue to pile that money into the money trap it has become, with constant repairs and subsidies. Like a new roof on the Cinendome, the main roof, and hundreds of other ‘little fixes’ in the building. Their is also the millions from the CIP (2nd penny) for windows and malfunctioning sprinkler systems that ARE NOT part of the $1.5 million subsidy (you know, the reason why are water rates are going up). And of course this little tidbit, that always makes me chuckle, in a very dark way;

But it represents solid progress for the nonprofit Pavilion, which has been in the black six straight years after hitting rock bottom in 2009.

The Pavilion has never been in the black, let me repeat that THE PAVILION HAS NEVER BEEN IN THE BLACK! That’s like saying your lemonade stand made a profit after 3 people actually bought lemonade from you and your grand pappy bought your supplies (lemonade) and stand.

Same goes for the Events Center. A subsidy or a mortgage payment not tied into actual profitability, isn’t profit. No normal business runs that way. The money you take in should cover your expenses, or you are operating in the red. Doesn’t matter how much your uncle Bob gives you to stay afloat. In the real world, the Pavilion would have filed for bankruptcy years ago.

But there is still room for improvement, which makes Darrin’s job cut out for him.

Besides making the Visual Arts Center free again, the first thing President Smith needs to do is stop lying to the public, or at least tell us the truth about finances. Let’s face it, the Pavilion is an unprofitable organization that gets most of it’s funding from people who never use your facility. Invite them in, for FREE every once in awhile. And those elitists that use the place? Make them pay double.



3 comments ↓

#1 The D@ily Spin on 05.01.16 at 9:34 pm

Drive by there, ask others, or do you see advertised events? It’s dead and certainly unpopular. Perhaps it could be on a haunted buildings tour for Halloween. It’s the end of Bozo Smith. Let’s not make him anything else unless maybe court jester for the king.

#2 moses on 05.02.16 at 10:52 am

Come to the great hall. remember the leaking windows.

#3 Sheeple on 05.03.16 at 10:41 am

Stu’s columns now are nothing more than cheerleader pieces for his man Mike. No journalistic integrity whatsoever.

As you stated, the Pavilion has never been in the black, it has relied on city subsidies every year since its inception to keep the doors open and Smith won’t be the guy to change that, he’s a placeholder until he can launch his unsuccessful Mayoral campaign.