Letter: More questions about the Maple Leaf center

To the editor:

Someone once told me “If you’re not prepared to deal with the answer, don’t ask the question.”

It seems to me that many of the questions raised since the Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center idea was introduced have not been fully considered or answered. Some of the questions include:

Who wants the Maple Leaf center?

Why is the Brown County Convention and Visitors Commission willing to pledge innkeepers tax revenues to the center?

Has innkeepers tax support been offered to the Playhouse, to the rebuild of the Opry, to the Coachlight Theater when it was operating?

Are the revenue projections realistic? Are the projected ticket prices realistic? How can the planners use attendance from the Opry when it had been in business for years and the ticket prices were less than those used by the planners?

Why not hold a referendum on the question of whether or not to build the Maple Leaf center?

Promises can be made to the residents of the county that they will not end up having to bail out the business venture should the revenues combined with innkeepers tax support not support the costs of operating the venue, but who will ultimately bear the responsibility should the venture fail?

This project seems to be supported by a specific group who has one point of view. Why shouldn’t they be willing to take the time to ask each of the residents of the county who will ultimately bear the responsibility for the facility to actually vote on the matter?

Bill Schnackel, Brown County

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