Following multiple years of planning, negotiation, design work, and a major construction project, the City of Atchison is pleased to report that the State Department of Children and Families, the State Department of Revenue’s Driver’s License Bureau, and the State Department of Veteran Affairs are now leasing and occupying space on the ground floor of the Atchison Event Center.
The partnership with the aforementioned State agencies represents a shift in strategy for the Atchison Event Center facility. The lease revenue is expected to reduce the operating loss at the Atchison Event Center by about $75,000 per year while maintaining the unique feature of the facility, which is the size of the Riverbend Ballroom and its capacity for large (500+) person events. The facility is still able to accommodate small to medium sized events and conferences, although it will be more difficult to accommodate multiple large events on the same date and time given the recent changes.
In 2013-2014, the City undertook a multi-million dollar deferred maintenance project at what was then known as the Atchison Heritage Conference Center. That project replaced the roof, windows, doors, climate control systems, etc. The City subsequently took over operations and re-branded the facility as the Atchison Event Center. The annual bond payment fore the 2014 deferred maintenance project is just over $190,000 / year.
In the five years since, the Atchison Event Center has averaged an annual operating loss of just over $90,000. Again, the lease revenue from the partnering state agencies is expected to reduce that average operating loss by about $75,000 per year. The City aims to eliminate any operational deficit at the Atchison Event Center in 2021.