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Theater Set To Undergo Facelift

Bids sought for repair of Capitol’s facade, but costs unknown

June 13, 2013

WHEELING — Bids are being sought to make facade repairs at the Capitol Theatre, while work is under way on a nearly $50,000 project to repair 46 windows at the Wheeling Artisan Center....

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Jun-13-13 1:57 AM

ALL THIS PUBLIC MONEY TO UPGRADE(1.) A MOSTLY DARK THEATER THAT IS NOT STIMULATING TOURISM AS PROMISED AND(2.) A BAR AND POOL HALL VS THE INTENDED VENUE FOR ARTISTS AND CRAFTSPERSONS. Why? It is easy to hand out public money for failed projects year after year. Should the public continue paying for this?

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Jun-13-13 5:40 AM

how many of you really attend the capital? when it has something going on it's a packed house showing the people of wheeling want see shows and are willing to dish out the money. I attend and it's always a great, fun, packed house. see people I haven't seen in years. so stop being the problem and leave your basement and have some fun.

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Jun-13-13 8:16 AM

I see no reason, after all this money has been invested, to let it fall down. It packs the house when they get acts to perform there so I think the people do want it. There is not enough there, yet. It serves no purpose to the image or vitality of the downtown to have it standing there with pieces falling off it. It has to be done. Booking events into the heritage port has been a huge success and that went from vacant to busy. I think the Ennis or Eillis woman who works for the city had a big hand in that. She was all over that, not sure if she is still there. We will roll out for events in Wheeling including the Capitol. A lot of city gov works pretty well, some parts doesn't work at all. Lets hope the working part continues to pull us forward.

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Jun-13-13 9:30 AM

Where is the money coming from? Is it from theatre operations, grants, or borrowing? For Wheeling the theatre is now an albatross in the category of "too big to fail."

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Jun-13-13 10:11 AM

At least they are keeping the contractors busy with needed/un-needed repairs. Just another white elephant that the city loves.

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Jun-13-13 2:17 PM

atoddh: chose a side of the fence and stay on it. Mr.adaptive reuse, save the historic shack, preserve yada yada yada is opposed to preserving the historic Capitol Theater. Hmmm.

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Jun-13-13 4:03 PM

try driving through wheeling when a show is about to go on.this place is doing well.

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Jun-13-13 11:13 PM

folks: The purpose of the public investment in both the Capitol and the Artisan Center was to foster tourism. The intention was not to cater to locals. Tourism brings outside money into the City and job creation in the City. The tour buses came for JUSA.A proposal to revamp JUSA was turned away. There are no tourists at the Capitol now. The Artisan Center was to be a showplace for local craftspersons. It was Federally funded as such. It turned out to be a bar and pool hall. It does not attract tourists.

Bottom line. The projects are failures in terms of economic development and job creation at huge public expense. A huge, huge error was made by turning away a renewed JUSA proposal(which was to be privately funded). This was the "anchor" on which Downtown tourism could have been built.

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Jun-13-13 11:16 PM

just :the adapted buildings must have function financially. The Capitol will end up tax payer supported. The error was made by letting JUSA go; in favor of the WSO.

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Jun-13-13 11:24 PM

hef: most of the Downtown millions came from Byrd via the National Park Service. The intent was tourism development. The money has been squandered. There are no more tourists Downtown as there were in the days of iconic JUSA. There is nothing Downtown. The public does not seem to realize the Byrd money could have been used for all sorts of new business starts that would have created jobs. This has occurred in the I79 area which is growing. WNHAC has been the problem; not the solution they claim to be. Downtown is a very ,very expensive failure.

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Jun-14-13 12:05 AM

Wheeling and the entire valley need the theatre. Like wise the theatre needs Wheeling to survive. the biggest mistake wheeling made as far as the theatre goes was by not buying it one of the many times it had been up for sale in the past. Then it wouldn't have needed all the repairs at once. this is just another example of how much big corporations care about communities. They made very buck they could until the place was ready to fall down. Then they bailed. I hope it is there bringing in entertainment long after I am gone and it is doing well. as far as the Wheeling Jamboree goes I'm sure that the theatre can't afford to let them eat up every Saturday night. a prime night when shows want to rent a facility. FYI the Jamboree pays no rent at the casino. They give them the room and also pay the staff. they also have other space to move it to if they or a client want to use the big room.

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Jun-14-13 8:43 AM

atoddh Stop by River City. It was full of tourists last night. Get out of the basement once in a while and look around.

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Jun-14-13 8:44 AM

Yea I know they were tourists because they had on leather vests and I read about twenty different states and Canada on them.

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Jun-14-13 12:26 PM

just: Tourists are person who come to the area to stay one or two nights or longer to enjoy attractions. Formerly Downtown attracted large numbers of tourists for JUSA an iconic radio show. WD Casino is a tour operation as is Oglebay. JUSA was a tour operation. They cultivated the bus tour market actively. The Capitol and Artisan Center are not tour operations. Downtown has nothing to offer now despite the huge investment made in tourism projects. Why do you think the "Artisan Center" is called the "Artisan Center?" Do you think patrons come to stay in Wheeling in hotels to go there? The casinos is self contained. Patrons(tourists) generally do not leave their campus. Oglebay guests have no reason to venture Downtown other than the Casino.

JUSA-upgraded- was the key to Downtown tourism. JITH-a JUSA derivative- demonstrates the regional appeal of C&W every year prolifically.

Just the facts: Just.

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Jun-14-13 8:40 PM

The theater is beautiful now. It needs an anchor. As before that does not preclude shows for locals. Best solution is a revamped JUSA operation including a tour operation as before. The busses do not show up on their own. The venue has to be sold. There really is a simple solution.

The "Artisan Center " has a solution also. It is a wonderful building.

Both venues could be reborn as tourist venues as intended. They are not as is.

The casino is having problems. A package of Downtown tourist attractions would help everyone.

The drilling folks will be gone(from the hotels) when the wells are in. Then what?

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Jun-16-13 4:35 AM

Sorry..but nobody wants to ride around in buses any more. I am the same age now as the people who rode the buses that lined the streets of Wheeling every Saturday night for years. I don't want to ride in a bus. when is the last time YOU bought a bus tour package? You will never see buses from 10'th street to 14'th street lined up on both sides of the street ever again. I'm not saying you can't find ways to attract people but I am saying it won't be that way. Those days are gone.

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