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VenuWorks-managed Alerus Center won't lose as much money as projected

Grand Forks' Alerus Center will not lose as much money as it had earlier projected, the city-owned facility's management said today.

By year's end, losses would total $156,000 compared to the $271,000 projected in July.

Dwight Thompson, who chairs the commission overseeing the Alerus Center, said the difference is in new events management was able to book, including the children's show Barney Live in Concert next month and the band Avenged Sevenfold in December.

The new projections show revenues totaling $4 million and expenses totaling $4.2 million.

The Alerus Center's consistent inability to break even in the past several years despite a built-in tax subsidy has led the commission to end the contract with the management firm VenuWorks next year. This year, the subsidy from hospitality taxes is projected to total $390,000.

Commissioners have been trying to figure out how the city will run the building when that happens.

Today, they discussed how existing employees will transition, coming up with proposals that Thompson said suggests the Alerus Center will continue to be run as a separate entity from the rest of city government.

Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send email to