Comments on: Thoughts On The Walt The Latest in Retail, Entertainment, and Development in Raleigh Mon, 24 Aug 2015 02:32:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: J Burton Wed, 16 Jun 2010 18:15:50 +0000 We “attended” the grand opening. What I would say was that I surprised how un-family-friendly the venue was. Strollers weren’t allowed. Our picnic wasn’t allowed. The security was abrasive. After being told we couldn’t come in and even sit on the grass, we ate at the parking lot across the street, which was dusty, loud, dirty, and also not a great place to have a youngin. There were no benches or grass around to sit. Luckily we brought a blanket which we laid out on the gravel. Our view of the stage was 80% blocked by the fence surrounding the amphitheater. Close parking was about $10. We checked the city’s website about what could be brought in, and it didn’t forbid strollers or our cheese and crackers and sandwiches.

One note on the staging I was disappointed by: it immediately backs up to the rail line. As the trains crossed over it, you cannot hear anything but their horn and the rumbling tracks for a significant period of time.

If you are single or just a couple that isn’t bringing your family, it is probably fine. As a parent trying to have leisure time with my family, I probably won’t go back. Their policies are significantly more restrictive than the amphitheater at the Art Museum, which is closer to me. I don’t know that we would have even attempted to attend if we had seen their policies posted on the city’s website. I guess I wrongly assumed that the city was making this a family friendly venue.

By: seekthesummit Mon, 07 Jun 2010 14:31:00 +0000 We had a great time Friday night. Standing in the space looking at the stage flanked w/ trains passing on our left and our downtown skyline to your right was very cool.

They turned a dirt lot that wasn’t slated for development anytime in the near future into a downtown destination in the matter of a few months. It may not be perfect, but it is a great addition to our city.

I talked to a police officer after the event and he said that it’s cool and strange to see so many talks walking around this area now. I wonder how many people go for a stroll down Regency Parkway after a Koka Booth show? Probably not many.

By: Ernest Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:52:32 +0000 I attended part of the two opening events (Friday and Sunday) from the outside – went for pictures. I spent most of my time at the parking deck directly to the South of the convention center, where you can get much better views and capture the stage area directly. I was pleasantly surprised with the amphitheater and I only hope that it proves to be a great venue for more bands.

The impact of this amphitheater will be mostly on the nearby businesses and I hope it will encourage more entertainment venues to open at the SW tip of our city’s core. A very good way to utilize unused space and help local businesses, especially when they contribute so much through special taxes, like in the case of the new convention center and hotel.

By: DPK Sun, 06 Jun 2010 01:06:39 +0000 I really wish that there were less chairs and concrete. I understand the need to “sell seats” but grass would make this place feel so much better.

Plus you know that everyone in those seats is going to end up standing anyways. They have seats in Carter Finley and everyone stands for those games when there’s no real need to.

By: ct Sun, 06 Jun 2010 00:38:46 +0000 Depending on which number you believe, the amphitheater cost between $1.5 million and $2.5 million to construct. Absent a naming rights deal, the break-even point for the amphitheater is 3 to 5 years out (longer, if you consider the time value of money). To avoid a political stink at the next election, the Mayor and Council are hot to sell naming rights; it’s the only way they can offset the construction cost.

As to whether the Convention Center makes money or loses money, let’s wait and see what the results are for the fiscal year ending June 30.

$500K in the City operating budget is mice nuts. Watch a Council meeting, and you’ll see.

By: Dana Sat, 05 Jun 2010 22:59:59 +0000 So what are everyone’s thoughts on The Walt after last night? I think that perhaps I am wrong about the sound issues, but sightlines are worse than expected and the amount of E-W travel you have to do is annoying. The setting is WAY COOLER than expected!!! ]]> By: DPK Sat, 05 Jun 2010 22:12:30 +0000 Chris: The stage faces toward the southeast as Dana said above. If it was pointed northeast sound would be directed into the new Wake County parking deck. Also you can make that same argument at any event venue to hear the music. I could go to Regency Park and sit outside in the woods to hear the music.

You go to a concert to see the show and get the concert experience, not just hear the music.

By: Brett Fri, 04 Jun 2010 21:50:01 +0000 It would been nice to see it face SW, but understandably, it would be very pleasant for the residents in Boylan Heights. But then again, any large city is going produce a decent amount of sound. That’s one reason people enjoy the suburbs in a metropolis area.

Oh well, there goes to having pretty awesome photos from this venue and the skyline.

By: Dana Fri, 04 Jun 2010 20:57:05 +0000 It faces ESE. I took those photos at 7pm. Look at the shadows. They could have turned the stage at lease to the SE, but because of the compliance with the long swooping driveway, that would have made the stage face a shallow crowd. THIS is why the road causes all of the problems. ]]> By: Chris Fri, 04 Jun 2010 20:34:07 +0000 I still haven’t figured out why I would pay admission to any show instead of just sitting on the sidewalk outside the fence and listening to the music.

Do you really need to see the band that bad?

By: Chris Fri, 04 Jun 2010 20:31:02 +0000 Jake — $500k for the year, not per one event.

To gross $500k in revenue for one event, ticket prices would need to be around $100 each.

Dana — The stage is pointed to the NE, if it was turned 180 degrees and faced SW, it would project the sound directly at Boylan Heights, and there is no way the residents there would go for that.
Concerts have to end by 10 on weeknights to appease them already.

By: Jake Fri, 04 Jun 2010 17:18:00 +0000 Dana, I was wondering the same thing myself about how far behind the amphitheater furnishing seemed in all of the photos I have seen to date. (Maybe they are on track, but talk about a hell of a deadline.)

Chris — I’m no event planner but a $500K revenue for one event doesn’t seem too bad for a venue of this size. IIRC, events at the RBC Center can yield up to or beyond the $1M mark depending on attendance and the type of event being held there. Bud Light Downtown Raleigh Shimmer Wall Amphitheater has somewhere shy of one-third the available seating, and considerably fewer staff/facility costs.

By: Dana Fri, 04 Jun 2010 16:32:45 +0000 Boylan Heights is to the west.

ct, $500K plus sales and meal taxes in downtown restaurants is great money, especially compared to an empty lot. I wonder what Walnut Creek’s books look like this summer. Probably a lot better given that they only have to book big acts now and don’t have to put up with would-be half-empties like Heart and OAR.

By: Chris Fri, 04 Jun 2010 16:29:50 +0000 They couldn’t turn the stage to face south, then all the Boylan Heights residents would have complained.

BTW, if the Connells don’t open with “Boylan Heights” I’ll be massively disappointed.

By: ct Fri, 04 Jun 2010 16:08:56 +0000 I’m happy to see it open, but no way will it be a “huge” cash cow. Comments from the city say that they might be able to make an annual $500,000 direct profit after paying all expenses. That will keep the city running for about 8 hours, given the size of the city’s operating budget. Even if there is a 3:1 multiplier for indirect incremental revenues like sales taxes and parking fees, the profit from the amphitheater is just a drop in the ocean.

This is about politics and downtown boosterism, not money.