Four management companies made proposals to take over operations at the Multi-Purpose Events Center and Memorial Auditorium, and Wichita Falls leaders have narrowed their choices to two firms.
MPEC Interim Executive Director, Lindsay Greer, said a management company for the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall, J.S. Bridwell Agricultural Center, Kay Yeager Coliseum and Memorial Auditorium could bring major improvements.
“Like I said, we’ve done a really good job, but we could be better. I mean there’s a lot of inadequacies on how we’re kind of operating day to day and it’s only because we don’t have the technology in place. We don’t have a lot of the system controls and things like that that these management companies bring to the table,” Greer said.
Greer and the Deputy City Manager, Jim Dockery, said a management company could improve marketing efforts and operations. Yesterday, the city’s committee overseeing the hiring of a firm interviewed the two finalists: SMG and Spectra.
“We haven’t made any decisions at this point,” Dockery said. “They were both really great presentations. Both really solid firms, so it’s going to be a tough decision for us.”
Dockery said they still have follow up questions and more information to study.
“It’s a matter now of really getting into the details of their proposals, because there’s little differences and we’re going to have to check some references,” Dockery said.
Greer said both firms typically have high employee retention rates.
“The one thing I was impressed with…. with both companies is nine times out of ten — most of them keep 85 to 90 percent of the current staff,” Greer said.
“I know people think we are spending money on something that doesn’t need to be spent, but we have a great facility and that’s what all of the consultants have said. That’s what all these management firms have said,” she said.
As the acting director, Greer said she is feeling positive about the MPEC’s future. Dockery said they are aiming for the firm to take over operations in October and hope to make a final decision in the next few weeks.