VCC begins year in black

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 16, 2016

During the first quarter of the fiscal year, the Vicksburg Convention Center is estimated to be in the black over $11,000.

“I actually did not think we would be this much in the black as we are in the first quarter,” VCC executive director Annette Kirklin said.

The budget and roof construction were the main topics of discussion at the VCC quarterly meeting Wednesday.

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The VCC has not received final numbers from lodging tax revenue, but have estimated the amount of money they will receive at $127,010. That number is $10,449 more than the budget predicted to generate from the tax.

During the first quarter the VCC generated an income of $124,321, which is 12 percent higher than the first quarter of 2015 but 5 percent lower than had been budgeted for the first quarter of 2016. Concessions and catering revenue was down by 6 percent.

The VCC spent 5 percent less than they had budgeted by being able to reuse room layouts between clients leading to less labor expenses.

“I think we’re where we’re suppose to be honestly,” Kirklin said. “Our income shows that we are above last year, but one thing it does show is that we are actually a little bit below on attendance and usages. But then that also showcases that we are watching our expenses when it comes to these bigger events, and these bigger events are spending a little bit more money.”

Usage and attendance numbers were down 3 percent and 14 percent respectively compared to the first quarter of 2015, but Kirklin said it was because the groups that are using the facility are utilizing it for a longer period of time.

The facility hosted 29 events and was used 48 days with an attendance of 14,169 between October and December. The staff booked 16 events during the first quarter.

“I’m extremely happy with the numbers for the first quarter because typically November, December, they’re not heavily used months,” Kirklin said. “We actually had a great December.”

At the beginning of the meeting the VCC staff presented a check to the Ronald McDonald House for $2,800 from the proceeds of the 14th annual Breakfast with Santa event in December.

Tuesday the VCC staff and city maintenance are going to meet with E. Cornell Construction, who won the bid with the city to survey the building in a pre-construction meeting and plan the new roof, replacing all the windows and adding a portico to the front of the facility.

“They are actually going to build an awning over here that way when it’s raining people can drop off others without having to be out in the elements,” Kirklin said.

The roof has never been replaced on the convention center in the 18 years since it opened in 1997.

The construction company based out of Hattiesburg put in the lowest bid this fall to the city at $863,080. A deadline of 150 days was given to the company to complete the project.