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Operators Of Glens Falls Civic Center Looking Ahead

Lucas Willard

The Glens Falls Civic Center, now three months under new management, is in the process of cutting costs and raising revenues.

It’s been a busy year for the Adirondack Civic Center Coalition, the organization that the City of Glens Falls handed over the building to under a lease purchase agreement.

In the last three months the Coalition has worked to secure a new hockey team for the second time in two years, brought in a new manager, and even dealt with the partial collapse of the building’s south-facing façade.

Now, Civic Center Coaltion president Dan Burke says his team is looking into new ideas to turn the aging arena around, including extending ice time beyond hockey season.

“Nothing is definitive at this time. For example, extending the ice to possibly shoulder seasons, we’re looking at different events and festivals in there, and the list goes on. We’re also looking at different concerts. But all those things, they’re out there and we’re working on them hard, and it does take longer than you wish it does, but there’s a lot going on. We feel good with the progress at this point,” said Burke.

The Coalition is also examining contracts with existing vendors and others.

Last year Warren County legislators approved a deal to provide tax revenues from the county’s hotel rooms to help promote events at the Civic Center. On Monday, the Coalition went before Warren County’s Occupancy Tax Committee to request its first quarter reimbursements of $62,500.

Burke said the money will help build a new website for the arena.

“It’s not to the level of function that it needs to be, because, not so much maybe my generation, but others will use their phones to buy tickets, do that kind of stuff. Those are the kind of upgrades that we’re going to use that money for initially so we can generate some revenue with it.”

Two weeks ago the Coalition also installed a new manager after parting ways with company Global Spectrum .

New general manager Jack Walter said the transition has been going smoothly.

“Global Spectrum has been great in providing everything we needed to make sure that their leaving and our staying and taking over was as smooth as possible.”

Burke said in the coming weeks, a bid will be placed for repairs to the south façade that crumbled under the weight of heavy ice and snow in early March, causing the scheduled Section II Basketball Tournament to be relocated. The building was reopened a few days later and no structural damage was reported.

Burke said an engineering study confirmed the building, opened in 1979, was in good shape.

“However, that said, through the regional economic council, a year and a half ago they awarded close to $700,000 for the arena, to the city, and we’re going to do things like change the marquee, we’re going to put in some wifi upgrades, and we’re going to do some cost-saving electrical/lighting upgrades.”

Burke said it also appears that the Civic Center may be able to receive additional state aid.

“There is a limited amount of money that I think we can get in support, so we’re looking for anything that’s a must-need are then things that we want. And that’s really the process of what we’re doing as we speak.”

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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