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Wichita City Council Approves Rate Increases, New Model For Century II

Kyle Johnston

The City council Tuesday voted to approve a new rate model and rental increases at Century II.

Rental rates have not changed at Century II since 2000.

Under the proposal changes, the performing arts and events center will go from a period rental model to a day rate model.

A 2 percent rate increase will go into effect in January of 2015.

Currently Century II rents for 6 hour periods in the concert hall and on a day rate for the expo halls.

The changes, approved by the council 6-0 with Council member Janet Miller absent, will carry over to the agreements the city and Century II currently holds with local performance non-profits, Musical Theater of Wichita, Wichita Symphony and Wichita Grand Opera.

The local non-profits will receive discounted rates.

Council member Michael O’Donnell expressed some concern that Century II would deter groups from using the facilities.

John D’Angelo manager of arts and cultural services for the city says they will monitor activity as the rate model and increases take effect.

“We share councilman O’Donnell’s concern, that we certainly don’t want to price ourselves out of the market and lose business,” says D’Angelo.

“We never want to loose business. We’re always searching for new business. If for some reason what we have proposed today would be real negatively received we would bring it back to the council for reconsideration.”

D’Angelo says the increases will help reduce taxpayer’s subsidy of the venue.

He says New clients will get the new rates after next week’s second approval, and that they will work with existing clients over a two year period to ease into the changes.