An Inside Look David Street Station’s Operations
During this first summer season, David Street Station has seen more than 200,000 visitors. That’s a huge number. Any guesses on what has brought people down to David Street Station in swarms?
The Summer Series events including the Hilltop National Bank Summer Concert Series, Food for Thought Summer Market sponsored by the WCDA, Family Game Night, Art Walks and Cinema at the Station have been consistent attractors bringing families and friends of all ages downtown. Special events including the UW Pep Rally sponsored by The McMurry Companies, Foss Toyota Balloon Festival and Honoring Our Heroes have allowed people to support passions dear to them or find excitement in new opportunities. The Hilltop National Bank Splash Pad has been packed all-day, every day with kids enjoying their summer vacation and preschools and daycares needing to run out their wiggles. Quiet moments for loved ones and friends sitting on the lawn or landscape while they enjoy a morning coffee. The feeling that for a moment, life slows down, and your one focus is making memories with your children. These are the events and moments that have brought 200,000 visitors to David Street Station this summer.
All-in-all, David Street Station has hosted more than 44, free events between June 1 and today. With more than 20 events left in the summer season, we are proud of this number and only see it growing more as the years go on.
These events were dreamt up, planned, and coordinated by a staff of just two full-time and one-part time employee, and executed by a staff of five. Throughout our first season, we’ve remained incredibly fiscally conservative to ensure we set a foundation for the future success of David Street Station.
This means, David Street Station is operating at 50% of what we hope to be operating on in Year 5. The budget will grow as we move forward because additional events and opportunities will be available and free, and therefore require increased funding. David Street Station’s budget breakdown is:
- Staff: 31%
- Events: 41%
- Marketing: 9%
- Operations: 19%
It’s important to share these numbers and be transparent with the community since we’re asking for your help in funding David Street Station through the FRIENDS of the Station and Partners in Progress.
David Street Station must remain a free venue. Built for the community, David Street Station is about celebrating all that is good in Casper including our people, businesses, artists and talent. People should always feel welcome to participate, regardless of cost or other barriers. They should have every opportunity to come down, enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment, see neighbors and family, and visit with old and new friends. David Street Station was built to bring Casper together, and that’s exactly what it’s doing.
As a similar example, excluding the public subsidy, a neighboring state’s model started off Year 1 with a conservative $300,000 budget subsidized by the city. Year 2, it became 100% privately funded and grew to $500,000. Year 3, the budget grew further to $700,000, Year 4 to $1 million, and Year 5 to $1.2 million. After Year 1, they were and still remain 100% privately funded. The budget for this gathering space grew so quickly because businesses and residents understood it increases their quality of life, creates important social and entertainment opportunities, and provides major economic benefits to their community.
The operations of David Street Station have and will continue to be 100% privately funded. We receive no tax dollar contributions. Our projected breakdown of funding includes:
- Sponsorships: 30%
- Endowment: 6%
- Program Income: 14%
- Grants: 9%
- Public Donations: 30%
- Beverage Sales: 11%
Two-hundred thousand visitors have no doubt resulted in increased dollars spent in the downtown area benefiting restaurants, retailers and other businesses directly, tax dollars, and potential jobs. But, more than that, David Street Station has added to our community’s quality of life. It provides a community gathering place where parents make memories with their children and one day, those same children will make memories with their children. At David Street Station we can slow down, smile, and appreciate the little moments in life.