Restoring pavilion profitable
Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
Sat, Jun 21, 2003
Report: Pavilion could be profitable for Rothschild
By Elizabeth Putnam
Wausau Daily Herald
ROTHSCHILD - Restoring the Rothschild Pavilion would be profitable, a business consultant hired by the village told the Village Board on Friday.
Pavilion supporters now must wait for the board to approve the marketing and business plan before knowing the fate of the 90-year-old building.
Alison Benkoski, a consultant at Business Development Services Inc. in Ripon, presented a report on the pavilion to the board Friday.
The report found that the pavilion would be profitable after three years of use as a banquet and special events hall. It recommends that the village own the building and lease it to a restaurateur or catering company to get the most money from the venture. It will only work if the pavilion had a liquor license, Benkoski said.
"This is a conservative projection of what could happen," said Benkoski. "There is no reason why it can't be more profitable."
It will cost more than $2.5 million to renovate the pavilion based on a feasibility study done last fall by Becher-Hoppe Associates. The village would pay about $275,000 and take out a $783,000 loan. The loan would be paid back by the money the village receives from whoever leases the pavilion, according to Benkoski's report. The rest of the $2.5 million would be paid by contributions.
The estimates could change, however, if the village is able to secure a grant from the Jeffris Foundation, a historical preservation service based in Janesville.
Chuck Rydberg, director of the foundation, told village officials Friday that if they were willing to renovate the pavilion with precise historical details, the foundation would pay one-third of the cost of renovations.
The cost of the project could increase because of added historical details to the building, but the pavilion also would become an attraction for history buffs and tour groups throughout the Midwest, Rydberg said.
Village officials are not certain when they will make a decision whether to go forward with renovation, but some expressed an urgency to decide.
"We need to come to some kind of conclusion soon. We've been dragging our feet on this for years," said Village Board member Arlene Paulson.
Supporters of the pavilion, which was built in 1911 by the Wausau Street Railway Co., also would like to see a decision made soon.
Carol Krake, a member of the Citizens Committee for Renovation of the Rothschild Pavilion, said now is the time for restoration, especially with a possible grant opportunity.
"The pavilion is an amazing part of our history," Krake said. "We just can't pass this up."