More Concerts May Be Coming - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

More Concerts May Be Coming

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BILLINGS -

MetraPark was traditionally for rent only, but now, Yellowstone County Commissioners look to co-promote concerts in the future on a case-by-case basis with show promoters to bring in more shows.

MetraPark is a county-owned facility, a fixture in our community. It hosts trade shows, the fair, and concerts. But some say we haven't seen many major concerts because show promoters couldn't negotiate because of a policy.

"They're no longer happy with just renting a facility, but rather they want to share the profit a little bit," said Shelli Mann, Boothill Inn general manager. "And unfortunately the staff at the Metra, because of policy that has been set that they have to follow, they cannot negotiate with these concert promoters."

County commissioners say to expect changes in the future though.

"Traditionally MetraPark has been a rental business and we're looking in the future at doing some co-promotes, but you have to be careful with the taxpayer money because we don't want to put a lot of risk out there for the taxpayers," said John Ostlund, Yellowstone County Commissioner.

Co-promoting means sharing in the profit and the risks.

"So now we're going to take a look, going forward, at some co-promotes, but they'll be looked at on an individual basis, one at a time, evaluate the risk, potential gain for the taxpayer and the benefit for the community," Ostlund said.

Mann says hotels around town depend on those special events, especially during the winter.

"Obviously it's had a lot of effect on my business," she said. "If there's something going on at the Metra, I'm going to be busy. But, without those concerts, without those special events, I don't sell the rooms"

Ostlund says as they move forward, they will work with businesses and organizations to help the county benefit from more acts.

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