LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak is being felt at Rupp Arena and Lexington’s convention center in the form of furloughs and pay-cuts.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports more than 100 Lexington Center employees have been furloughed and staff who weren’t, took pay-cuts.
The reason? Nearly every scheduled event at the facilities from March-to-June have been canceled due to the coronavirus and that means a massive revenue loss.
There were major concerts, sporting events, graduations and conventions that had to be pulled from the schedule and that derailed what was on pace to be a record revenue year for the Lexington Center Corporation, according to the newspaper report.
The timing couldn’t be worse because this is happening during a $275 million expansion of the facilities.
The Herald-Leader report says to help pay for the project, the Lexington Center Corporation banked on more than $6 million in hotel and motel taxes to pay off one loan or bond of $108 million, and that money didn’t come in as hotels sit empty.
The report says other revenue sources were supposed to pay for a second bond of $110 million, but that money also went away when the pandemic hit.
Lexington Center Corporation president and CEO, Bill Owen, told the newspaper that the corporation’s board and financial advisors are working on a potential solution to keep the expansion project going and make debt payments on those bonds totaling $218 million.
Owens told the paper a second bond or loan to help cover upcoming debt payments haven’t been ruled out.