A change in leadership at Two Rivers Convention Center is just the latest development for a venue struggling to make ends meet.
In the past 16 months a third of the staff at Two Rivers has been laid off, and now its manager has stepped down to try to save more jobs.
"This was a very difficult decision," explained Tim Seeberg the former manager. "You know, I felt like the timing was right to move on."
With budget cuts reducing his staff by a third in the past year and a half, Seeberg saw further cuts on the way, and hoped to save the jobs of some of his staff.
"Instead of sacrificing operations and the service they provide, I went ahead and resigned," Seeberg said.
City manager Laurie Kadrich says the resignation will help the city get through the end of the year budget-wise.
"When you're looking at between eighty and a hundred thousand dollars for a full time position, what that saves us is many part-time or seasonal positions," she explained.
While saving jobs is good news, what's happening to the revenue at the convention center is not. After a steady increase in revenue from '05 thru '08, money coming in has dropped by a third in the past two years.
"We have experienced more last-minute cancellations in business," explained Debbie Kovalike, who is in charge of convention and visitor services with the City of Grand Junction. "People that had repeatedly booked things for holiday parties for example have decided not to do that. And it's just indicative of where the economy is right now."
While Kovalik admits the last two years at the convention center have been anything but a picnic in terms of revenue, she does leave some room for optimism.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I think many people are seeing that. (In) 2011 we do have a couple of conferences on the books for May and June that are going to be sizable and will give us the revenues that we need," she explained.
Kovalik says that while 2011 looks good the following year looks even better. That bodes well for the future revenues of the convention center.
Meanwhile, the city has moved street supervisor Darren Starr into the interim role of manager of the convention center.
City manager Laurie Kadrich calls Starr "The Total Package" because of his involvement with community events including JUCO and 25 years of experience with the city's budgeting methods.
He is expected to serve 4-6 months in the role of manager of Two Rivers at which time the city will evaluate whether or not to hire a permanent replacement.