The coronavirus pandemic has crushed revenues on the Overland Park Conference Middle this yr, with officers now anticipating to finish the yr with solely a few third of the income and fewer than half the employees they’d in 2019.
“This pandemic has moved us again 20 years,” stated Brett Mitchell, the middle’s normal supervisor.
The numbers now extra carefully resemble how the middle was doing its first yr of operation, he instructed town council’s Finance, Administration and Financial Growth committee this week.
“It has simply been completely crushing to our trade. We hope that there’s excellent news on the horizon.”
Tasks $4.6 million loss between 2020 and 2021
The conference heart price range tasks a $2.8 million loss for this yr, and $1.8 million for the 2021 price range, with hope for the beginnings of a turnaround within the third and fourth quarter of subsequent yr as extra individuals develop into vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, Mitchell stated.
Total, the conference heart made an estimated $3.8 million in income this yr.
By comparability, the middle introduced in $13.7 million in 2019 and made a revenue of $846,468. However that revenue doesn’t carry ahead and is as a substitute used for capital enchancment tasks. The losses of this yr and subsequent will probably be coated by town’s normal fund.
The variety of occasions and attendance has fallen precipitously. Final yr 385,596 individuals attended 313 occasions, in comparison with a projected 113,923 attendees for 107 occasions this yr.
For 2021, solely 93 occasions are projected thus far.
The following lack of workers has proved the “largest damage,” Mitchell stated. A yr in the past, the middle had 77 full-time employees, in contrast with 28 for the beginning of 2021.
The lack of workers was made specifically bittersweet, Mitchell stated, contemplating that the commerce publication Exhibitor journal not too long ago selected the Overland Park Conference Middle as one of the best in North America for customer support and on-site assist.
Mitchell stated the estimates for subsequent yr consider a attainable enchancment late within the yr on account of wider distribution of a vaccine, and he was assured the employees may ramp up rapidly if there’s a spike within the variety of occasions. However he stated the conference heart’s administration will probably be cautious to not overextend itself too rapidly.
Mitchell didn’t anticipate conference enterprise to be again to pre-pandemic ranges till no less than 2023.