Following projected revenue loss, Marble Falls considers lowering Lakeside Pavilion rental rates after 2016 hike

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

marble falls lakeside pavilion

Lakeside Pavilion is located at 307 Buena Vista Drive in Lakeside Park along Lake Marble Falls. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

MARBLE FALLS — The Parks and Recreation Commission is re-evaluating fees for Lakeside Pavilion after officials project a $22,850 loss in revenues this year.

“The feedback is that we’re expensive,” Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss told the commissioners during its monthly meeting June 4.

After digging into the projected loss, Moss discovered that a family reunion, a communications expo, and wedding parties are heading elsewhere because of the current rental rates, which went into effect January 2016, along with rumors the city is going to demolish the pavilion and city pool because of the construction to improve the park.  

However, the city isn’t tearing down Lakeside Pavilion, and plans to replace the pool are still several years off. Plans are underway to begin upgrades and renovations in Lakeside Park, which includes the installation of a beach later this year with completion of the initial phase by June 2019.

Proposed construction and higher Lakeside Pavilion rates have caused some potential customers to rethink their plans.

Moss said most people, especially engaged couples, simply didn’t want a construction zone in their photos at the rental price. Others, such as a communications expo, decided to rent a facility in Bell County that was closer to home and more affordable.

So Moss outlined a recommendation: decreasing the fees.

“The big reason for changing the fees is a business reason,” he said. “Our revenue has dropped, and it seems to coincide with the timing to when we raised our fees last time.”

Marble Falls City Council approved raising pavilion rental rates in January 2016 on a recommendation from the parks commission.

But after the latest revenue projections, officials are considering readjusting those fees.

Moss outlined city staff’s fee adjustment recommendation to the commissioners:

• a nonprofit rental rate for Fridays and Saturdays would drop to $750 per night from $1,500 for Fridays and $2,000 for Saturdays;

• a resident rental rate of $1,500 for Fridays and Saturdays would drop to $500 for Fridays and $1,000 for Saturdays;

• a non-resident rate of $1,500 for Fridays and $2,000 for Saturdays would drop to $1,000 for Fridays and $1,500 for Saturdays;

• and a commercial rate of $1,800 per day Sunday-Friday and $2,000 on Saturday would drop to $1,500 per day Sunday-Friday and $1,800 on Saturday;

“We want to get (the pavilion) back to it being utilized as many days as possible,” Moss said.

The city would retain a $350 cleaning fee as well as a $250 facility deposit for events without alcohol and a $500 facility deposit for events with alcohol. The deposits are returned if the renter meets obligations outlined in the rental contract.

Moss said there’s a good chance the council will be asked to approve the new rates at a regular meeting in July. If the new rates are approved, they would go into effect immediately.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

7 Responses to “Following projected revenue loss, Marble Falls considers lowering Lakeside Pavilion rental rates after 2016 hike”

  1. Jennifer L Rice says:

    I would totally agree. The rent rates in MF are so high! It doesn’t surprise me that people are going elsewhere. Some businesses can’t even stay open long because the revenue doesn’t warrant the rates.

  2. Michele Hart says:

    The problem is also the fact that a church has it for free or drastically reduced rates every Sunday… there are several groups, festivals & music events that would rent for events but can not or do not because the Sunday not being available and also having to be completely off premises by midnight on Saturday!

    • Steve says:

      To find out if they are using it for free or at a reduced rate file a foia to see what deal they have if any. If the city is allowing them either a reduced rate or for free then anyone should be afforded the same deal.after all it is public property.

  3. Josh Parker says:

    As a former Parks and Rec member who advised against the drastic rate increases I am sorry it took almost 2 years to begin correcting the excessive rates. This was foreseeable and was predicted…the provided feedback was accurate, it was too expensive and still is under these purposed rates, but some relief is better than none.

    I disagree with the previous comment attacking a church’s use imapacting the bottom line. Church’s and other groups have had similar uses when the pavilion was essentially sold out year round. A fair evaluation needing to be done it is on the major impact of allowing a commercial development dictate loss of park facilities and restricted use of previously open use park locations. Building a beach, yes, but no one seems to be remembering to report the intent of charging for access to the lake at the beach. Removing the pool, tennis, basketball, and boat ramps on the lake…please remember that the number 1 feedback on marble falls greatest draw/asset in two comprehensive plans was our outdoors, facilities, and scenescapes. This doesn’t mean the city should abuse, monitize, and exploit our Parks…it means we should protect and respect them and ensure we are providing them to ALL citizens, not just the ones that can afford to pay to play. (Edited)

    • Steve says:

      Do the churches which use the pavilion pay the non profit rate or the commercial rates? Also what prevents non residents from booking the facility using a residents name to get a cheaper rate?

  4. Chris says:

    Just think the Beaty of the “ necessary “ parking garage fir the hotel use will be as a backdrop … gag me . The bad decisions continue .

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