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Business First of Columbus - 12:00 AM EST Wednesday

 

COSI taps Buffalo exec as new chief

Tony Goins

Business First

 

A science center executive from Buffalo, N.Y., with a history of heading up turnarounds will take over as president and chief executive of COSI Columbus in April.  The Columbus science museum's board said Wednesday it chose David Chesebrough, head of the Buffalo Museum of Science, after a nearly year-long search for a CEO. Chesebrough, 54, will replace Kathryn Sullivan, who said last February she planned to step down after working 10 years as head the science center.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/01/02/daily6.html 

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A bit dated, from the 2/28/06 Dispatch:

 

 

COSI’s finances still precarious

Museum looking to finish fiscal year with surplus, but problems not solved

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Robert Ruth

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

COSI Columbus expects to end this fiscal year in the black after slashing its staff and budget 20 months ago.  But officials say the science museum is not out of the financial woods yet despite its second straight year on the plus side. Fiscal 2007, which begins July 1, is expected to be another crucial year for the center on W. Broad Street.

 

Read more at

http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/02/28/20060228-D1-02.html

 

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From Business First of Columbus, 3/27/06:

 

 

New view for COSI

Science-lover Chesebrough sees tough job as center's chief, but thinks payoff could be big

Business First of Columbus - March 24, 2006

by Adrian Burns

Business First

 

To some Central Ohioans, COSI Columbus might seem a shadow of its former self, but to incoming chief David Chesebrough, the science center is poised to become one of the nation's best.  Chesebrough takes COSI's president and CEO jobs March 31 in what supporters hope will spell the end of COSI's struggles at its larger building downtown and the start of an era marked by better funding, more community interaction and improved exhibits and programs.  COSI was forced to retrench after a funding levy failed in 2004. The center cut its budget by a third to $10 million, chopped 67 jobs and mothballed 20 percent of the space at its sprawling building along the Scioto River.

 

Read more at

http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/03/27/story3.html

 

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Im not sure what shape COSI Columbus is in today but when I was in grade school I remember being very impressed with COSI. Every time I go to the city I always think of that first COSI trip for some reason. Im sure the place will do fine.

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From the 4/12/06 Dispatch:

 

 

New COSI director off and running

He wants to perk up long, austere hallways with ‘family-friendly’ exhibits

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Robert Ruth

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

As David Chesebrough hopped on COSI Columbus’ elevator last week, he joked with two women and their children who were already inside. "We wanted the mezzanine," one of the women said.  "Well, you’ve landed on the third floor where the administrative offices are," said Chesebrough, the science museum’s new president and chief executive officer.  "We have very interesting offices, if you want a tour."

 

Read more at

http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/04/12/20060412-B1-01.html

 

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One hall too many?

Brainstorming on future of Veterans Memorial ought to be encouraged

Monday, May 08, 2006

Dispatch Editorial

 

The 50-year-old Veterans Memorial Auditorium, which was renovated for $11.3 million in 2000, is faltering.  Since Jan. 1, 2004, every section of the center – the meeting rooms, exhibition halls and main auditorium – has sat empty more than half the time.  The memorial has required $1.4 million in bailouts by the taxpayers over the past four years. And the building still needs an estimated $6 million in upgrades and repairs.

 

Managers don’t project a profit until 2009, at the earliest.  They say the deficits of the past four years are an anomaly, but the facts above give Franklin County commissioners plenty of justification to feel as though they’re throwing good money after bad.  Rather than continue this practice indefinitely, commissioners should put out the suggestion box.  The community needs to talk about what can be done with the Veterans Memorial and its valuable 16-acre site.

 

Full editorial at http://www.dispatch.com/editorials-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/05/08/20060508-A8-02.html

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Anyway Vets can be shipped down to Baton Rouge?  We could use another mid-sized arena.  (Our local 2,000 seat nightclub was told to close up show by it's owners on Friday  :x)

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Sad to say, but Vets memorial is a cave.  There is no hope of it ever competing with the newer venues like Nationwide Arena, the Convention Center and other better sites for shows, meetings and other events.  Even the State Fairgrounds beats Vets hands down for most events.

 

And the editorial writer is also correct in saying that it is hardly a fitting tribute to the many Central Ohio veterans who have served their country so well.

 

I think it's time to tear it down and start with a clean slate.  Plan something that will guarantee better uses and also a better tribute to our veterans.

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I think a number of not-too-pricey medium rise residential buildings with retail/offices on the first floors all surrounding a plaza would be nice.

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Additionally, what a horrible use for such a nice location on the riverfront.

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Columbus would suffer without Veterans Memorial

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Letter to the Editor

 

Columbus is struggling now to be a viable convention city with competition from cities such as Indianapolis.  Taking away the option of an exhibit hall such as Veterans Memorial will make Columbus a less desirable convention and destination city (Dispatch editorial, May 8).  Continually each year since the early 1960s, my company has rented exhibit halls at Veterans Memorial, where it holds four trade shows that draw an audience from a five-state region, as well as one public show that draws attendance from all over the state of Ohio.

 

In addition, we annually bring two other trade shows to the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  The point is that some events fit in one venue and some fit in the other.  The convention center does not fit our needs for the types of events we bring to Vets.  If an event draws the type of attendance that needs surface, line-of-site parking, the convention center is not the venue.  Many cities would welcome having two exhibit facilities in their downtown areas.  It gives event planners, particularly the medium-to-smaller-show planners wanting surrounding on-site parking and reasonable rents, a choice of venues.  These events add tremendously to the metro hotels’ business, area restaurants, and other service businesses that cater to the out-oftown customer, even though they do not generate a lot of convention hotel business.

 

I submit to the county commissioners that they should make the decision to invest in the great asset they already have in Vets.  A relative small investment in improving Vets will pay off to the city.

 

WALTER E. OFFINGER

President, Offinger Management

Columbus

 

Full letter at http://www.dispatch.com/editorials-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/05/20/20060520-A13-02.html

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Though I agree with the letter writer, it's going to take some serious outside-the-box thinking to come up with a way to make Vet's Auditorium competitive with venues like Nationwide Arena and "the Schott".  The biggest thing going against Vet's is that it sits in an area that is a virtual "dead zone" after 5 PM.... virtually no other attractions to draw a crowd or an "after hours" crowd that would attend events at Vet's.  There is only one restaurant to speak of (The Spagetti Warehouse).  COSI is next door, but it has problems of its own in drawing a crowd (other than school groups).

 

 

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Who needs a big monolithic structure sucking up prime riverfront real estate?  Talk about great views of downtown that are just going to waste right now.  Stuff like this should be located a few blocks off of the river with residential/retail/public space infill located on the river (think arena district).

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UNPROFITABLE AUDITORIUM

County might cut Vets Memorial loose

Friday, July 28, 2006

Robert Vitale

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

It might be time to bring the curtain down for good at Franklin County Veterans Memorial, two county commissioners said yesterday.  The struggling county owned 3,916 seat auditorium needs another $200,000 to meet its payroll and pay its bills, officials said.  If approved by commissioners next week, it will be the facility’s third rescue in less than a year.  Since 2002, Veterans Memorial has needed more than $1.6 million to cover debts and losses.

 

"It’s time to cut bait," said Commissioner Paula Brooks, who asked county officials to put together a task force of marketing experts, business people and military veterans to study Veterans Memorial’s future.  The facility was once Columbus’ main stage for touring entertainers, and it turned a profit or broke even every year from its 1955 debut until 2001.  Commissioner Dewey Stokes said he agrees it’s time to decide whether Veterans Memorial stays or goes.  A $1.9 million fund set up after some of its riverfront land was sold for the Franklinton floodwall has dwindled to $221,000.  When that’s gone, future subsidies would come from Franklin County taxpayers.

 

Full story at http://dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/07/28/20060728-E1-03.html

 

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I think it would be a be a great site for a mized-use, TOD type development.  Think about it, there really is nothing of that sort on the "West Bank" of the Scioto across from downtown. With the flood wall in place, that makes it a much easier piece of land to develop.

 

However, I would make sure there is something in any future plans to remember our veterans: certainly something more than some stone obelisk that says "Here's Lies the Old Vets Auditorium". 

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^A monument to the veterans, yes. But not to the auditorium, I know I wouldn't miss it.  :lol: That could be a great opportunity for some inviting public space, along with the aforementioned development.

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What needs to be created is something that generates revenue while at the same time being something iconic that can add to the character of the city.

 

What is the largest event held at Vets Memorial? The Arnold Fitness Expo. The event was born at Vets Memorial and the trademark event, The Arnold Classic, is still held within its walls.

 

So why not build on that?

 

I propose that Franklin County lets go of Vets Memorial to a private firm that can create a museum and pro hall of fame for Arnold Schwarzenegger and the sport of bodybuilding. After looking it up, apparently there is no official hall of fame for the sport, so this could be a great chance to increase tourism and create further interest in the area, as well as solidify the city's ties with the Arnold Classic, which is one of the largest events held in the city. The new musuem/hall of fame could also partner with COSI and their "Life" exhibit, which features the intricate workings of the human body. Keeping the auditorium space would also allow other related events to be held in the facility, creating a niche market that larger spaces such as the convention center or the Schottenstien center couldn't cater to.

 

I truly think this could work and would create another excellent source of revenue and recognition to the City of Columbus.

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^ That's not bad, although I still don't like that it's eating up valuable riverfront space.  You should forward that idea onto Experience Columbus.

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^ That's not bad, although I still don't like that it's eating up valuable riverfront space.  You should forward that idea onto Experience Columbus.

 

Waterfronts need to be shared with everyone, not just those who claim a slice of said location.

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^^ I love the idea. A pro-bodybuilding hall of fame would make us (arguably?) the nations Bodybuilding capital...or maybe even land us the title of "Bodybuilding Capital of the World". I love it! Oops, already said that. I just think we should be sure to set aside room for a small plaza where we could have a veterans monument or something. Or just have that somewhere else.

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COSI sets its sights on public funding

Plan calls for $4 million from city, county to revamp center

Friday, September 01, 2006

Robert Vitale THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

COSI Columbus, still running a scaled-back operation more than two years after Franklin County voters rejected a tax for the museum, again is asking for taxpayers’ help.  The new head of the financially struggling science center has proposed a two-year, $6 million "re-engineering" to draw more visitors, boost income and create a "new COSI."

 

Read more at

http://dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/09/01/20060901-A1-00.html

 

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I went to COSI in August with the fam.......and I am not a Star Wars fan by any means.......but their Star Wars exhibit was very nice!

 

Oh, by the way, I had never been to downtown Columbus before!  You Franklin Countians have a nice city!

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COSI isn't that great in my opinion. It could be a lot better. But I'm used to Cleveland-calibar museums, so I guess I'm spoiled.

 

The Great Lakes Science Museum isn't exactly the Lourve either...

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Quote from: Vulpster03 on Today at 01:32:04 AM

COSI isn't that great in my opinion. It could be a lot better. But I'm used to Cleveland-calibar museums, so I guess I'm spoiled.

 

 

The Great Lakes Science Museum isn't exactly the Lourve either...

 

I was about to say the same thing. I've been to the Great Lakes Science Center on several occasions, and if that is supposed to be the measure of a "Cleveland-caliber" museum, (whatever that's supposed to mean) then Cleveland's got a lot of work to do, since the most impressive thing in that complex is the Omnimax theater.

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Quote from: Vulpster03 on Today at 01:32:04 AM

COSI isn't that great in my opinion. It could be a lot better. But I'm used to Cleveland-calibar museums, so I guess I'm spoiled.

 

 

The Great Lakes Science Museum isn't exactly the Lourve either...

 

I was about to say the same thing. I've been to the Great Lakes Science Center on several occasions, and if that is supposed to be the measure of a "Cleveland-caliber" museum, (whatever that's supposed to mean) then Cleveland's got a lot of work to do, since the most impressive thing in that complex is the Omnimax theater.

 

At least they have an Omnimax theater. We just have Imax (ugh).

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