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Published August 08, 2011, 10:42 PM

Alerus Center Presents Revised Budget

Alerus Center Commission gave its revised 2012 budget to the Grand Forks Finance Committee, with a few tweaks to make up for lowered projected revenues.

Alerus Center Commission gave its revised 2012 budget to the Grand Forks Finance Committee, with a few tweaks to make up for lowered projected revenues.

Alerus Center Executive Director Cheryl Swanson said the city-owned events center has not been as successful this year as she had hoped, citing decreases in advertising and suite sales.

"We have not had the benefit of as many concerts as we have had in the past, so that is one aspect we need to improve to generate more revenue on the sponsorship side," said Swanson.

The Alerus Center Commission lowered revenue projections by about $200,000. The revised budget's total now projects $4.1 million in revenue.

Swanson has said the Alerus Center will have to tighten its belt to balance the budget, including cutting last year's more than $133,000 to about $102,000.

"I concern myself that the Alerus Center is trying to succeed by cutting expenses. That's a big danger in business. We're not going to fill that place by just advertising in Grand Forks," said City Council President Hal Gershman.

Even though Alerus officials say the convention side of the events center is thriving, council members want to see more.

"If you look at the city of Grand Forks, everything seems to be working pretty well, but we have one thing that is a constant irritant to some of us," said Gershman.

"We have to grow the activities on the arena side. If we want more enthusiasm for our community venue, we have to do more things to get people to go there," said Finance Committee Chairman Doug Christensen.

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