Entries Tagged 'Washington Pavilion' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council financial update reveals some interesting tidbits

I guess I missed the first part of the informational meeting where financial director Mr. Pritchett revealed some interesting things going on. I appreciate Shawn’s honesty.

The first thing he reveals is that Sioux Empire Community Theatre owes SMG or Global, or whatever they are calling themselves these days $74K for past rentals of the Orpheum and that they have an agreement to pay $1,000 a month until it is paid up. What a deal! The Pavilion, which runs the Orpheum now requires the SECT to pay rent for events now with 50% up front.

Then there is the Event Center that actually pulled in less revenue last year, but get this, made a bigger profit (according to Global). I guess when you don’t have to pay anybody (part-timers) to work events (because very few are going on) you make more money. Go figure. I wonder if we mothballed the place we could make even more money!

We also found out why we had to ‘repair’ the HVAC system at the Denty, because it has severely malfunctioned causing leaks in the roof and damage to the ceiling. So now we have the siding and the HVAC system, makes you wonder what other things we cut corners on. A former Denty employee told me once “Don’t lean too hard on the interior walls, you may fall thru.”

Speaking of leaky stuff, the Pavilion is requesting around $6 million to fix the roof and railing on the roof. Where are they getting their bids? Certainly not from Mitchell Roofing 🙂

We also got to hear about the deteriorating Sioux Falls Stadium and what we are going to do with that money pit, but that discussion really didn’t go anywhere – as usual.

Yet we need to charge non-profits who actually bring successful events into Sioux Falls that drive the economy $70 an hour, per officer, for police protection. Go figure. As one of my former co-workers used to say about our boss/owner of the company we worked for, “He’s concerned about pennies as dollars are flying out the window.”

It took the Pavilion 20 years to break their own attendance record

And I’m about to tell you why it took so long;

More than 100,000 visitors have passed through the Pavilion’s doors this year. That’s 4,000 more than the previous record which was set in 2000.

So why did this take 20 years?

When the Pavilion opened they hosted many FREE events, such as various community concerts. They also had special deals to get into the Kirby Science Center. But one of the greatest things that encouraged attendance was a FREE visual arts center (except for special and international exhibits). It was a promise they made to the public who was helping to fund the facility (we still do, to the tune of millions each year in an operation’s subsidy and maintenance – we own the building).

But this wasn’t just for the people who appreciated visual art, this was done to get people thru the door and exposing them to the arts who normally would not. Then they might stroll over to the Kirby Science Center or buy a ticket to a show or movie, or visit the gift shop.

Currently, the Pavilion holds very few FREE events. I think First Friday is the only time you can walk thru the VAC for free. Heck, it has been so long since I have been enticed to go there, I couldn’t tell you. I do know they have special deals for seniors and veterans to.

The Pavilion needs to reopen the VAC for free again, but I doubt they will, since they wouldn’t want to break with their tradition of only catering to a the ‘specials’ in town that can afford it, while the rest of us foot the bill and hope some crumbs fall to the floor for us once in awhile.

Open Bids save money

At Tuesday’s Sioux Falls City Council meeting, councilor Kiley argued that they shouldn’t put the IT expansion project out for bid because the delay would end up costing taxpayers more money. Pulling a crystal ball from his rear aside, that is not always the case.

Back in 2008, the city faced a similar dilemma, a bid was handed over to a contractor to replace the windows on the Pavilion, the problem was that when the Pavilion’s Operations Director turned the bid into the city, he realized later that he forgot to include labor and would have to resubmit the bid.

The controversy caused by this error got the attention of the media, so a lot more contractors bid on the project the second time around.

The city saved over $300K by resubmitting the project, in fact they had to amend the 2009 CIP budget to reflect the cost savings;

Improvements, by deleting $300,000 in year 2009 for windows (CIP p. 2-145).

We have NO IDEA if we are getting a ‘deal’ on the IT expansion because we never put it out for bid. And I can guarantee if it is put out for bid ‘after the fact’ there would be someone who would come in under $1.5 Million.

Open bids save tax dollars, and for councilor Kiley to say otherwise is just ludicrous and ignorant.

UPDATE: Naturalization Ceremony at Pavilion

I was pretty excited to hear there was so many new US citizens being sworn in this time around they had to have a bigger venue, so they chose the Great Hall at the Pavilion which is an excellent venue for it.

But I heard an interesting rumor, the Pavilion charged rent for the ceremony. I’m assuming if that is true, the Feds paid the tab. While I understand they have to have staff work these events, if they are during the day, isn’t the staff there already anyway?

What I also found interesting is that the Pavilion gets ‘some’ Federal money, so they turn around and charge rent?! The Pavilion is also subsidized by local taxpayers and is a city owned building that receives millions each year in operational and maintenance funds.

So if the rumor is true, my question is, is the Pavilion so hard up for money they have to charge for such an event? Oh that’s right, this is the same entity that also charges admission into the VAC, even though they could get sponsors to cover those expenses.

UPDATE: There were several volunteers working the event, but I still have not heard if the Feds had to rent the place. Since the Pavilion has taken over the Orpheum, the city has to pay rent if they want to use it.

Weekend Picts • June 1, 2019

Another shot of the Arc phase I being placed

Got to go into the Pavilion galleries for free on Saturday (the only time I go) the piece below was the best. The Pavilion also had a huge fail and instead of having their FREE concert outside on Main they moved it inside and hardly anyone attended. Apparently they wanted to celebrate 20 years but didn’t want any extra expense of having equipment outside. Lame.

There is a great view of the prison from the Levitt Stage. I wonder how many performers will ask about the castle on the hill?

The Pavilion celebrates 20 years

Not sure if many people knew this, but I was the lead usher of the Great Hall for the first 4 years the Pavilion was open. I still remember my interview in the Great Hall with then House Manager, Jeff Venekamp. It was exciting and over the years I have supported the place with my own brand of criticism. I met many amazing artists and performers, including George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Weird Al, and helped Carrot Top with some of his material. I even had drinks with Richard Weisman (epic art collector) at the Top Hat, oh, and the Violet Femmes. I even witnessed a famous jazz singer belt out a very large fart, in which she replied, “The pure mention of soda pop gets my gas gauge a goin”. I can’t even count the number of dancers I saw naked or near naked.

I also had my first solo art exhibit at the Pavilion and contributed to Arts Night where I won the people’s choice award one year. In recent years I met Rosanne Cash at a meet and greet.

I have always maintained that the city needs this place, but has always fell short on welcoming the whole community. In recent years charging to see local and regional art at the arts center was a huge mistake by the Pavilion and went against the promise of keeping the gallery free to the public.

While the Pavilion has brought in many great shows (My most memorable were Drums and Tuba, Wilco, Bulgaria, Late Night Cathecism, and the opera ‘Carmen’) it still has yet to embrace everyone. Oh, and the management and politics behind the place are atrocious which have tried to destroy many great peoples’ careers and lives and continues to this day.

After 20 years, I will confess we still need the Pavilion, but I think it is time we hit the reset button, it could be so much more if we would just allow it.

Why is Smith’s name included in return address

So a friend shows me this the other day. It was a fundraising letter from the Pavilion. We were both curious as to why Smith felt the need to include his name on the return address. If it is some kind of marketing strategy, we are both confused by it’s purpose.

Why wasn’t the Sioux Falls City Council in on the Pavilion/Orpheum contract negotiations?

First I want to say that I am NOT opposed to the Pavilion running the Orpheum, if you look at the financials of SMG running it over the past 5 years (DOC: Orpheum Theater Mgmt Transition Presentation – Council.pdf) you will see that the place has lost almost a cool half-million a year. Not sure why it is so expensive to run a place that is empty two-thirds of the year? I also find it funny that the operating losses come out now that the Pavilion is running the joint, go figure*.

But what has me puzzled is why wasn’t the City Council in on this? Shouldn’t they have either initiated this contract change or at least approached by the Pavilion instead of the Mayor’s office? They could have had open discussions about it at work sessions or in the public services committee meetings. What bothers me is that this contract negotiation was cooked up behind closed doors with the mayor with only the city council being aware of it. With SMG and the Pavilion running publicly funded facilities, this should have been an open negotiation. Instead it was pre-packaged behind the scenes to receive the council’s rubber stamp.

I’m still wondering when our council will start acting like a real legislative body?

*Makes you wonder how badly the Events Center is bleeding money if they allowed the Orpheum to take such a big hit for years.

Financial Comparison between Pavilion & DSPC

I found this comparison interesting. I had to use 2017 numbers because the Pavilion usually doesn’t release last year’s financials until June(?).

Just for the record, I’m not trying to dig up dirt, I just found the way the two institutions generate revenue and expenses to be interesting.

One of the most stark differences is expenses.

Click to enlarge graphic

Large turnout for Angelica Mercado’s reception

Even though there was a private party in the Everist Gallery (making a bunch of noise and disrupting the gallery talk, imagine that, poor planning on the Pavilion’s part) there was a huge turnout for the reception. Unfortunately I did NOT see the video that I posted to my site the other day being displayed in the exhibit. I’m wondering if this got censored from the exhibit? If so, NOT GOOD. First off, besides the fact there was NOTHING offensive about the video, that is neither here nor there, it is a publicly funded facility, not just local funds but Federal and State grants. Also, the building is owned by the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. Censorship is unacceptable in public facilities.

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Angelica Arely Mercado at the Pavilion

Posted by Julia Tasuil on Friday, March 1, 2019