April 06, 2006


The juxtaposition of young native american dancers performing with a backdrop of schoolchildren climbing a 50 foot wall was the spectacle that unfolded a couple of weeks ago at the Long Lines Family Center.

It seems that the annual Siouxland Multicultural Fair moved from it's normal venue at the Convention Center to the old Aud because the room rent was half of what the Convention Center charged. So here we have the CCAT competing against itself. Not very smart business.

The CCAT and the Convention Center, favorite whipping boy of just about anyone who wants to complain about waste in city government. Just ask Brent Hoffman(n).

But maybe in this case we have one city-owned venue too many. When the CC was built, during an orgy of convention center building that unfolded in cities large and small, it was touted as a much needed site that would attract activities large and small but would not compete with hotel and other private facilities. No, weddings or partys would not be solicited. Sioux City needed this facility to compete.

Now, the area home of dart tournaments and flea markets, is being undercut by other city owned venues and it continues to be a drain on the CCAT budget. Maybe it's time to think outside the box.

How about this idea: Give the facility to the Clarion Hotel with the understanding that they would build an indoor water park. Have you ever been to the Ramada in Sioux Falls with the waterpark. Talk about tourism. Ask anyone you know with kids under 12 and the chances are good that they have spent a "relaxing" winter weekend poolside there or at the Ramkota. It's one of the few things that Sioux Falls does better than Sioux City.

Maybe something like this will allow the Clarion to make a go of it (God knows their recent "renovations" aren't going to cut the mustard) and return a property to the tax rolls.

With the CC gone, the CCAT could focus on marketing the commercially viable venues, the Tyson Center and the Orpheum, and let the area hotels do what they do best, catering to weddings, parties, and small business gatherings which is about all this marketplace can support.

Plus, you can never go wrong with a waterslide or a big wave pool. Especially if you can get a Pina Colada at poolside.


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