Resch Expo is ahead of schedule and on budget despite pandemic

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 5:56 PM CDT
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ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - One local construction project has not been severely impacted by the pandemic.

The new Resch Expo center moved along quicker because of the slow down earlier this year.

“There hasn’t been little business, there’s been no business,” said Terry Charles with PMI Entertainment Group.

Charles said the pandemic has had a major impact on the entertainment business, but he’s been able to find a silver lining.

“Part of the new building connects with Resch Center so they were going to have to wait a bit to do that until our season slowed down, well unfortunately our season slowed down in mid-March, so they were able to accelerate some of that work then and with less stuff happening in complex overall, they were able to move faster so they are ahead of schedule,” said Charles.

Charles said the $93 million project is ahead of schedule and on budget.

A vast majority of the Resch Expo is funded by the room tax. It’s no secret the hospitality industry has taken a hit, but Charles said that hasn’t had an immediate impact on the project set to open January 2021.

“Hopefully we can make up the money that maybe didn’t come in, in room tax this past 6 months that will come in,” said Charles.

A smaller portion of the Resch Expo project is funded by the half-percent sales tax enacted by Brown County about three years ago. It’s set to expire in about another three years. When asked if Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach plans to extend it because of the year we’ve had, his answer was a simple no.

“No. All that is working as planned and there’s absolutely no reason for us to deviate from what we had online to the public in terms of the projects that we want to complete the budget impact that’s going to have,” said Streckenbach. “When you think about all the challenges that are been faced with the COVID-19 crisis, the fact that we are actually on budget and on time is, is pretty amazing for how big that building is.”

The building is 125,000 square feet of open space. Charles said that flexibility will allow them to be more competitive when it comes to big ticket shows so they can recoup some of that lost entertainment revenue this year.

“I think the Resch Expo is hopefully our light at the end of the tunnel,” said Charles. “It’s going to bring a different level of expo space than we’ve had before, as far as amount we’ve had and quality we’ve had, so going to mean some great things for us in the future.”

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