Convention center sees year-to-date revenue gain

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 38 views 

Financials for the Fort Smith Convention Center (FSCC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) were difficult over the last reporting period, but still improved for the year, according to Claude Legris, director of the Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion (A&P) Commission.

On Tuesday (June 26) at the A&P monthly meeting, FSCC revenues were revealed as down for the month, but still trending ahead in the year-to-date category.

May revenues clocked in at $23,321, a reduction of $13,986 from the same 30-day period in 2011, but at $282,978, are ahead of expectations by $50,348 (or around 19.52%) year-to-date.

Most of the month’s reduction was due to the absence of a Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling show, which brought in $8,101 during the same period of 2011.

The wrestling promotion, which features pro wrestling stars, such as Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Sting, and Ric Flair, will return to the Convention Center in October 2012, Legris said.

On the expense side, the FSCC ran higher than expected with $74,439 in May, approximately a $2,351 increase from the same period in 2011. Year-to-date, the Center has reported $475,300 in expenses, a reduction of $8,615 from last year.

May’s biggest-earning events were the May 19 Fort Smith Symphony show ($3,839); the May 5 Hillbilly Bully Bash, a dog show devoted to pit bulls ($3,226); and the May 5 Exhibit Group International show, an exhibit for jewelry enthusiasts ($2,750).

Tim Seeberg, chief operating officer for the Convention Center, noted the FSCC initiated sale of beer and wine at the Fort Smith Symphony and Traditional Championship Wrestling shows last month, and that it would also move in to “mixed spirit drinks eventually.”

“We’re jumping in to that business as quickly as we can but taking our time to get there successfully,” Seeberg said. “That involves training staff, and building relationships with the right vendors.”

Seeberg said the FSCC would still allow clients to serve their own alcohol, but “we want to make sure it’s done in a responsible manner.”

April 2012 financials showed an improvement for the CVB, which continued to beat revenue expectations with $60,658 in April, an increase of $2,902 from the same 30-day period of 2011, and a year-to-date bump to $244,040 (an increase of $8,978) during the first four months of 2012.

Expenses for April settled at $52,274, an increase of $2,986, while year-to-date, the CVB posted $210,873, a decrease of $19,810. 

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