City of Jackson, MS

Jackson,

Performing Arts Facility Preliminary Economic Development Plan

In 2012 the City of Jackson, Mississippi retained B&D to conduct a preliminary economic development plan for the Thalia Mara Hall. In an effort to retain a wide array of prestigious civic events, attract additional events, and simultaneously improve its financial performance, an $8.5 million, three-stage renovation plan had been proposed. In light of this proposal, through the development of a preliminary market and financial analysis, we were tasked with exploring the Hall’s market potential and future financial projections. The preliminary market analysis included a review of the current situation at the Hall, stakeholder interviews, and a series of analytical exercises to evaluate the Jackson market and its ability to support additional events at an improved Hall. We interviewed building management, Hall user groups, promoters, content providers, and various stakeholders to provide additional perspective on the Hall’s operating history and market potential. The interview findings were utilized to develop recommendations for Hall improvements and potential operating strategies. We also conducted a demographic analysis to evaluate the size and strength of the local market. Next, we prepared a preliminary financial analysis, developing three scenarios to be considered. For each scenario, financial projections were developed on the basis of three detailed event calendars. We also were tasked with identifying potential funding sources for the renovation process. Five funding case studies were compiled to show how similar-scale performing arts venues funded facility renovations. The approximately $5 million Thalia Mara Hall renovation was completed in 2014.