Monday, January 31, 2011

White Elephant To Golden Goose

This article was originally posted in 2009 while the Hippodrome
was closed. I am reposting it now to serve as a reminder as to
how much of an impact this facility and Rain/Skyplex has had on the region.

The Paramount Theater was purchased in the summer of 1999. The Theater hadn't been opened for years, employed no one, and paid no taxes. We Made a huge investment, Saved a local landmark, employed over 150 people, and paid approximately $220,000 in back taxes to the city of Springfield. The Hippodrome opened in December of 2000 after a year of renovations.

We decided to look back over the last 9 years and see what the actual economic impact of our businesses has been for the City and the Region.

The first subject we researched was Police Details. We added up the amounts paid to the Springfield Police Department for Extra Duty Police at The Hippodrome and Rain/Skyplex. I think this makes us the largest private employer of extra duty police in the city. (Not including the gas and electric co.) Police Details $1,093,000 (Yes that is over 1 million dollars)

Next was the total amounts paid to the City of Springfield for Real Estate taxes, licensing, permits, and fees.
Total to City of Springfield for taxes,etc. $1,119,000
(over 1 million dollars again.)

Payroll wages are one of our largest expenses and all of our employees are local residents. This means that the wages we have paid go directly into the local economy.
Wages Paid (excluding owners) $5,600,000
(over 5.5 million)

We have employed plenty of local construction and repair people over the years. This includes, Painters, Plumbers, Carpenters, electricians, HVAC, etc.
Amount spent locally on construction, repairs, etc. $4,375,000

This is the total amount that Rain/Skyplex has directly spent into the local economy

This is the total that The Hippodrome has directly pumped into the local economy

Total for both spent directly into the local economy

We tried to calculate the amount of money that our patrons (over 2 million people) have spent locally and what benefit it has had to the economy. This is a hard number to calculate, but we figure between, Hotel rooms (we know the number was over 500 room nights per year), Parking ( we know our patrons pay to park in local lots),Meal from local restaurants, Gas,Etc.
Benefit to local economy from customers visiting downtown
$20 to 40 Million dollars

Number of Patrons:
well over 2 million

Number of license violations in over 9 years:
0 (zero)

We were also responsible for booking all of the shows for the City Block Summer Concert Series at Stearns Sq. The Skyplex provides the Beer Concessions and bathrooms for the concert series along with the liability insurance for the shows. We didn't take the time to figure any of the economic benefit of our role in these shows, but from a public relations standpoint, this is the area's most anticipated yearly series of events and draws between 30 and 50 thousand people to Downtown Springfield every summer. I will be writing a post about this soon.