Fests in the red to the tune of $37,146The 2009 versions of the Corn Palace Festival, Polka Festival and state and national Kids’ Pedal Pull brought in a combined $37,146.37 less than expenses, according to a report delivered Monday evening to the Mitchell City Council at City Hall.
By: Seth Tupper, The Daily Republic
The 2009 versions of the Corn Palace Festival, Polka Festival and state and national Kids’ Pedal Pull brought in a combined $37,146.37 less than expenses, according to a report delivered Monday evening to the Mitchell City Council at City Hall.
Though that amount is a “loss” or a “cost” to the city, as described by Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling, it is within the range that council members have come to expect. During the previous five years, the bottom line for the annual summer events at the city-owned Corn Palace ranged from a loss of about $62,000 to a profit of about $13,500.
Councilman Scott Houwman said the events do more for the city than the financial statements show, because the events draw visitors to the city who pay sales taxes on things such as meals and hotel rooms.
“It looks like a loss, but if you figure out the tax revenue, I think we’re probably doing OK,” Houwman said.
Councilman Jeff Smith said that the loss from the events is small when divid- ed by the number of residents in Mitchell.
“Believe me, we’re going to work hard to try and get this thing to a break-even,” he said, “but in reality, if you take a look at the quality of the entertainment and the fun that we had during that (Corn Palace Festival) week, I guess you could break it down that it cost the citizens of Mitchell about $2.50 apiece.”
The total income for the events was $344,927.87. That includes revenue sources such as concert ticket sales, carnival ticket sales, and sponsorships and promotions.
The expenses totaled $382,074.24. The biggest expense by far was $232,397.36 for headline entertainment.
The Blake Shelton and Ronnie Milsap shows were the only money-makers, judging by the cost to book the show compared to the amount raised through ticket sales. Following is a summary of each show’s performance:
• Ronnie Milsap: $25,000 cost, $31,500 ticket sales, 1,687 attendance, $6,500 profit.
• Blake Shelton: $45,000 cost, $46,725 ticket sales, 1,653 attendance, $1,725 profit.
• Joan Jett: $45,000 cost, $35,490 ticket sales, 1,351 attendance, $9,510 loss.
• David Cook: $100,000 cost (the most ever paid by the city to an entertainer, according to Schilling), $86,485 ticket sales, 2,035 attendance, $13,515 loss.
• Comedy show: $6,600 cost, $2,850 ticket sales, 701 attendance, $3,750 loss.