Board to Discuss Future of Wentzville's Wabash Days, Holiday Night Lights
City staff asked that the board consider not just the profit and loss numbers, but the economic impact to the city and what these events provide to residents.
At Wednesday night's work session, the Wentzville Board of Aldermen will discuss the future of the city's special events, including Wabash Days, Holiday Night Lights and the 4th of July celebration.
When Wabash Days was first established, the intent was to turn it over to a local organization. However, no organization came forward and this year's event will be the mark the tenth anniversary of Wabash Days.
"By their very nature, special events hosted by a City Municipality have less ability to be profitable than other hosting entities. This is partially due to the cost in staffing an event with public/local government employees rather than utilization of organizations who volunteer hours to work the event(s)," city documents reported.
Wabash Days has lost $95,090.93 over the past nine years, but city staff report that the figure is misleading because staff costs to the event have not always been tracked.
Staff went on to mention that no studies have measured the economic impact of special events to the city or the events' influence on the marketability of the city.
Suggestions for enhancing the 2013 event include the addition of a Little Miss Wabash contest, a barbecue cookoff or food truck event. Expenses could be decreased by dropping the carnival rides.
The only special event to show a profit in 2012 was Holiday Night Lights. Profit/loss figures for city events were reported as:
- Holiday Night Lights - $975.60 profit
- The Easter Eggstravaganza - $1493.36 loss
- Movie in the Park (June) - 905.06 loss
- Sunset Concert - $4,719.84 loss
- Independence Day - $31,969.65 loss
- Movie in the Park (August) - $684.83 loss
- Soapbox Derby - $3,279.06 loss
- Halloween Happenings - $2,925.10 loss
But along with the costs, city staff also asked the board to consider "what is not measured . . . the impact to the City, community and the citizens who participate in the events."
The board will discuss whether to continue hosting these events or eliminate certain events.