Mackay Park Theatre? : Show us the business plan

The Beagle Editor, Heads up to the Council – The acts you might want to see come to the Mackay Park Theatre don’t play under 500 seats because the margins are too thin. It was suggested by a Councillor at the time when the 350 seat capacity was first ventured that Tina Arena had played a similar venue Sale however that was a special gig hosted by Shell. The Mayor even mentioned the Wiggles. Heads up councillors The Wiggles are playing two sold out shows in one day at Mingara in a 550 seat theatre at $24.10 per head which returns $26,000 – they aren’t coming to Batemans Bay for $10,000 less with no assurity that the shows will be sold out. Council has no track record of delivering such events. People in the Eurobodalla should be very clear that a 350 seat theatre will not attract the acts that they are expecting to see. The Batemans Bay Soldiers Club delivers a quality performance space with a capacity of 500. Why is Council attempting to compete against the club? Council have not provided a business plan for either the aquat’ (Not a full aquatic centre as it is devoid of a 50m pool) centre nor have they provided a business plan for the theatre. It is about time they did. Simply having a theatre doesn’t create demand. That demand has to come from private entrepreneurs who wish to hire the facility in order to put on a performance and generate a profit. Along with a theatre comes the need for a bar, for a large enough foyer to mingle, adequate toilets and adequate parking. Without these the theatre is little more than a public hall with chairs. Even a cursory glance over the scant business plan developed by Otium for their original concept the numbers just don’t add up. Their own business plan forecasts annual losses. So who will bear these losses? It is irresponsible to say “If you build it they will come” without first talking with the industry and determining what THEY require. Council has no business plan yet the General Manager has had the audacity to claim the same against a group who came forward after the acquisition of the old Bowling Club (well before it was condemned and demolished) offering to purchase the property and reinstate it as community space with an existing auditorium, bars, café and commercial kitchen. That group may not have had a business plan at the ready however they had the business acumen and experience to make an offer whereas the General Manager and her staff have no experience at all in this regard. Everyone knows in order to have such a facility you have to start off with a sound business plan and Council, to date, have shown no evidence of such a plan. Council claim they have talked with other councils however they have not revealed who these councils are nor have they revealed what populations, what performances, what capacities and what fees are charged. Therefore anything Council has to offer is purely conjecture and unsubstanciated. Before council goes any further with their concept plans to include a theatre they MUST show evidence that it will not be a an underutilised lame duck that occupies the space that could well have accommodated a 50m pool making it a full aquatic centre rather than a leisure centre. And if they are citing that a gymnasium attached to a pool as a driver for revenue and attendances to the pool then let them show us the Narooma Pool figures as it is the Regional 50m pool for the Eurobodalla. Name and address supplied



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