Originally Published: June 16, 2017 6:07 a.m.
The Town of Prescott Valley is nearing an agreement to take over ownership of the Event Center, bringing it out of bankruptcy and setting it on firm footing.
There are many reasons the community should welcome this news and be hopeful for the future.
The Event Center is the second largest indoor facility in northern Arizona and fills many major needs in the region, from hosting high school graduations to guns and home improvement shows to crowning high school sports champions to the NAZ Suns’ home games.
A growing county with more than 218,000 residents needs an indoor arena of this size. While many would waste time looking back at the mistakes that led to the bankruptcy, the town has rightly chosen to focus on the future.
We don’t underestimate the importance of examining what went wrong to ensure those errors are not repeated, but dwelling on them is not productive.
Under the current development agreement, the Town of Prescott Valley is obligated to continue making payments on the original bond agreements, so it was important for the town to find a solution. If this deal goes through, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski says it will save the town $20 million.
Since the town has no experience running an event center, it has decided to hire a company that does, Spectra. That Philadelphia-based company lists 532 clients on its website.
They know what it takes to make an arena succeed and because they deal with all the top booking agents and tours, they are in a much better position to bring top entertainment options to Prescott Valley.
The town has also agreed to spend $3.3 million in upgrading the facility.
Town officials added that getting an ice hockey team in the arena to share the facility with the Phoenix Suns’ D-League team is a priority.
All of these are positive steps forward, which ensure the facility will remain open and could thrive in the coming decades, while at the same time lowering the amount of money the town would have had to pay.
The town deserves credit for taking a negative in the bankruptcy and figuring out a way to turn it into a positive for the town, the region and the taxpayers in Prescott Valley.
The Daily Courier