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

Photo Log: The 2015 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
greenthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces announced

News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-1000pxwBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...

The Green Paradox

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY EMILY LIEDEL

Inside the topsy-turvy world of corporate sustainability rankings.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


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