PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) - The East Kentucky Expo Center has seen a profit for the first time since its opening, according to an audit that was presented during a recent board of directors meeting, the Appalachian News Express reported.
Don Wallen of Wallen, Puckett and Anderson presented the Expo Center’s 2017 audit, which he said shows a clean opinion and an operating profit of $29,000. Wallen said the Expo Center has seen growth in its profits since the decision to drop its partnership with SMG Venue Management and operate as a city-managed entity.
“They (SMG) did operate at a loss and, the good news is, our new organization did not,” said Wallen. “The new entity ended the year with $667,000 in assets — of which $620,000 was cash.”
Wallen said $475,000 of that was transferred from the city, which covered the salary and expenses of General Manager Cindy Collins.
“It looks like we’re doing okay; we made a little bit of profit,” Wallen said. “The operating profit was $29,000, but that’s after depreciation.”
He said the total cash profit, before depreciation, is $113,000.
“It’s been a long time coming; there’s no question. We’ve had this center for a long time and sunk probably $3 million into it,” Wallen said. “And, finally, it looks like we might be getting a handle on it.”
He said there weren’t any bad findings and the center is in good standing without having to pay a management fee to SMG.
“We’re in pretty good shape, financially speaking, with the city running the Expo Center,” Wallen said.
Mayor Jimmy Carter said a lot of the success is due to the staff of the center.
“Outstanding job, Rebecca (Hamilton) and Cindy (Collins). I know we had a little help along the way; a couple of nice concerts didn’t hurt.”
He said the diligent work was evident and that the two have been “looking over what needed to happen from day one.”
“These things aren’t made to make money. This may be an anomaly that we may never see again. I hope that’s not the case,” said Carter. “I can’t say enough about what you all have done to turn that place around.”
Collins said the city was a huge help in the success.
“They’ve been a big help this year. Having a team, locally, that would step in and help whenever I needed it — especially Rebecca and Sean (Cochran) and all of the other people who came to my rescue from time to time. It’s team work,” said Collins.
Carter said that team work could be expected moving forward.
“I’m sure we’re going to be there in the future as well,” he said. “That’s what we do. That’s how we make it work.”