Manor Has Banner Month

Booth Chilcutt, Events and Cultural Director for the Manor (left), delivered a pleasant surprise at Monday evening’s Blythewood Town Council meeting, reporting that the Manor’s revenue and expenses finally broke even during the month of June.

BLYTHEWOOD – With a new Events and Conference Center Director and stricter rental policies, the Manor appears to be pulling out of the financial nose dive it has been in since opening day in March 2013. In a report to Town Council on Monday evening, the facility’s new Director, Booth Chilcutt, said June was the most active and profitable month for the Manor to date, bringing in gross receipts of $9,866, almost breaking even for the first time.

Of the 20 events held at the Manor during June, all but three were rentals. The three non-rentals were town government meetings. Praising his assistant, Pat Connolly, and their staff, Chilcutt reported event frequency for June was one event per every day-and-a-half.

The Town’s CPA, Kem Smith, said expenses and lack of oversight and control of finances were problems during the first year of operation. In her budget report on Monday evening, Smith praised Chilcutt, who took over as Director in January, for the Manor’s improved revenue, attributing the upturn to new policies, higher rental fees and new events.

“I can see it’s turning around,” Smith said.

Explaining the turnaround to The Voice, Chilcutt said, “There are no more freebies at the Manor,” referring to the large number of free usage of the building and equipment by the Richland 2 School District and others during the first year of operation.

“The school district now pays the same rental rates as the general public. Community and civic organizations now pay basic hourly rates ranging from $30-60 depending on the size of the room,” Chilcutt said. “We treat the Manor like the business it is. It’s a wonderful amenity for the community and it’s less expensive than anything comparable in the area, which makes it attractive for all sizes of social and business events.”

Chilcutt said he doesn’t think June is a fluke.

“We only have five open Saturdays from July 2014 through June 2015,” he said. “The rest are already rented.”