Home Back Issues May 2009 Wherefore art thou, dear consumer?

Wherefore art thou, dear consumer?

| Print |  Email
Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSShakespeareFestival

Photo courtesy of Oregon Shakespeare Festival

ASHLAND Attendance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has dropped 6% from last year, as the weakened economy forces consumers to cut spending on luxuries like travel and the arts.

Predicting a 7% decrease in attendance for the current season, festival organizers last fall trimmed the 2009 budget by $1.6 million to $24.9 million. Now, nearly three months into the festival’s eight-and-a-half month run, the numbers are encouraging, although not a definitive sign of increased attendance in future months.

“The big question is whether this reduction is occurring because people are not going to come at all, or if they just haven’t decided yet,” says Paul Nicholson, the festival’s executive director.

He notes that in previous seasons attendees were likely to purchase their tickets and reserve accommodations months in advance. However, this year many patrons are not buying tickets until they’re sure they can afford the trip.

Because the festival’s budget and financial commitments are set months before it opens, even if ticket sales or attendance continue to decline further budget cuts will not take effect until the 2010 budget, which Nicholson anticipates will be no larger than this year’s budget.

With the busiest season yet to come in the summer when the outdoor Elizabethan stage opens, Nicholson looks to coming months with cautious optimism. The audiences for the spring plays are at about 90% capacity, which is comparable to last year. Nicholson says that bodes well for the summer.

“People are still seeking out the festival experience, but they are definitely revising their spending while they’re here,” says Katharine Flanagan, marketing director for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce.

The festival falloff already is being felt by local businesses that depend on the $58 million the festival brings into Ashland annually. Several local hotels and restaurants for whom festival patrons account for at least half their sales, note business has already decreased by 10%.

Ashland Springs Hotel is running specials and promotions to boost business. Karolina Wyszynska, director of sales and marketing, says the hotel’s discount packages combining lodging with festival tickets, spa treatments or winery tours have been popular.

NICOLE STORMBERG
 

More Articles

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Detox fashion

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Remember mood rings? A team of scientists at Oregon State University has designed what might be considered a 21st-century analog of the ’70s jewelry fad: a bracelet that reveals one’s exposure to pollutants.


Read more...

The business of running a food cart

News
Thursday, June 05, 2014
OBM1BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?  


Read more...

Hipsters gone wild

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JON BELL

A new generation of outdoor apparel companies targets the young and the urban.


Read more...

100 Best Green Companies Keynote Speech

News
Friday, May 30, 2014

green2014-069Watch the 2014 100 Best Green Companies keynote speech by Eric Friedenwald-Fishman.


Read more...

The 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

GreenLogoOregon is known for its green-minded citizens, and many workers are attracted to firms and organizations that practice green, not just pay lip service to it.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS