After a record-breaking 2010, OSF attendance dropped in 2011 after the closure of the Bowmer, and the economic ripple effect was felt across Ashland in hotels, eateries.
Hotel tax receipts in Ashland were 4 percent less than projected for the peak of the tourism season — likely because of the temporary summer closure of an Oregon Shakespeare Festival theater because of a cracked support beam, city of Ashland Finance and Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg said.
When the city government ended its fiscal year on June 30, hotel tax receipts were up 2 percent compared to the previous year, Tuneberg said.
Instead of continuing with a 2 percent uptick, hotel tax receipts were down by 2 percent for July, August and September in comparison to those months last year, Tuneberg said. “You could say that the Bowmer beam issue reduced lodging by as much as 4 percent,” he said.
A support beam in OSF’s Angus Bowmer Theatre cracked on June 18. OSF and community members scrambled to move plays to alternate venues until the theater reopened on Aug. 2, but OSF still saw a drop in attendance.