Monday, April 23, 2007

Pavilion Enters the Black

After five months on the job it looks like the Williamson County Pavilion is operating in the black after years of red ink.

Forget about fancy accounting, for our board members the bottom line has always been the balance in the operating account of the Williamson County Events Commission which oversees the Pavilion.

Ever since the building opened in August 2004, the amount in that checking account has gone down as operating expenses exceeded operating income every year.

On Nov. 15, 2006, when I started as tourism director, the balance for the Events Commission’s Operating Account stood at $87,056.79. Five months later on April 15, 2007, our balance totaled $94,421.39 and that didn’t include a large deposited following the DragonsCage event on April 14.

A lot of the growth from this year compared with last year’s is due to interim Director Jeanette’s action last fall repealing my predecessor's unilateral decision to block all but one caterer from working the Pavilion.

We’ve also been more aggressive in negotiating rates where we know we have competition. The other major factor is the additional media coverage we’ve been generating with the additional events.

More and more area residents are finally waking up to the idea that the Pavilion actually exists. It's also helping that our lodging operators are providing more referrals to us.

The Southern Illinoisan's story on our accomplishments ran Sunday.

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