Dec 10, 2012

Lessons From The PigPen

Billed as the Lehigh Valley's #1 Entertainment Complex when it opened in 2009, life was short for the sports bar which hoped to capitalize on the nearby baseball park. Don Cunningham honestly said that 72 home baseball games are not enough to support a business year round. How about 40 home hockey games? Another local bar owner said of Cola-Coca Park, "They have everything in there that they need. Nobody in the area really prospered from the ball field." PigPen owner Les Bartholomew cited the casino as his downfall, and their deep pockets to attract entertainment. The reality of competition, and few home matches, will create a barren night scene in Pawlowski's little apple. The unique state tax funding mechanism will allow the barren buildings to meet their debt service, but images of middle class patrons walking the streets of downtown Allentown, will be limited to few nights, and architectural renderings.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, today's Morning Call entertainment blog has a valid explanation for why the bar/family-venue/music-venue/recreation-venue/restaurant facility failed. A lousy marketing plan, no defined target audience and nothing that set it apart from its competition are some business reasons for the closure. But as soon as I read the news yesterday that the place was shut I guessed what direction the arena critics would go.

michael molovinsky said...

apologist @ 6:31, good thing there was never a fire at the pigpen, because we still haven't replaced the east side firehouse. stated reason, almost $800,000 over budget. arena over budget is $100 million. quite a statement about our priorities. when i published this morning, i wondered how long it would take the former Future Attendee to respond. we have something in common; i'm the only critic, and you're the only supporter.

For The Arena said...

Mike, I thought only B. Villa disagreed w/ (a.k.a. "criminally harassed") you. Wink wink. Looks like there may be a second. Oh well. You can't expect 100% compliance. After all, you only got 3% of the mayoral vote in '05. LOL.

michael molovinsky said...

@6:31 and @7:34, you're all the same pathetic person. death wishes and other charming statements you make confirm that. now get typing, you have a lot of people to harass today. pawlowski should be very proud of your support.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

You realize that when the arena fails to improve the downtown part of the fault will be laid at your feet because you failed to believe in the project.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

I believe the Pig Pen thought it only had to be near the ball park to succeed. I was there a couple times. Nothing special and way too big to be ecomomical.Terrible service too.

The arena will be just a piece of the downtown revitalization. It, like the ball park, can't be the only attraction. In this case the entire downtown from 9th to 5th is in the mix. Sure there are doubts, but "nothing ventured nothing gained".

Try to seperate the revitalization from the dislike of a specific person (mayor). He'll be long gone but the downtown will go on, hopefully in better shape than it's been in the last 20 years.

PresentAllentownParkAttendee said...

Mike, good day for park walking, hope to "run into" you out there (not a threat).

michael molovinsky said...

@ 8:17, just for the record, unlike some who comment(harass), i do not personally dislike pawlowski, nor is my criticism of any public policy based on such emotion. i do not consider a square block in the heart of downtown closed all day, with an event or two one night a week a positive for allentown. i hope to be proved wrong.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Michael, I am 6:31 and not BV or FAA. I don't make personal attacks. Nevertheless, anytime I post a differing opinion (or even contradictory facts) I get attacked by you as being some "pathetic" crackpot. Your reaction to my comment at 6:31 was to talk about fire stations and construction cost overruns. It's your blog and if you wish to preach to the choir and keep things insular, you may, but it's a lost opportunity for meaningful discussion.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:45, putting aside your identity, i did print your comment, as i did many of FAA's, precisely to present a different viewpoint. i believe the lessons of pigpen are that being close to a destination sports facility doesn't mean that much, and competition for the entertainment dollar is very competitive in the valley.

ironpigpen said...

With all due respect, Mr. Molovinsky :

Should this type of lesson NOT have been learned (from ANOTHER city that had ALREADY attempted such a minor league 'transformation' BEFORE the Browne Hole was dug, etc.?

Sincerely,

ROLF OELER

Anonymous said...

MM, you are definitely right. It will take ALOT more than an arena and other building project to revitalize downtown. I am hoping the 'powers that be" recognize this and have some "tricks up their sleeves". If not, many of us residents of A-town plan on doing what we KNOW can be done in order to keep us from becoming a Youngstown, OH with or without the city's help. (I did it for 3 years with UPWARD BOUND, ALLENTOWN and other events; popular city entertainer DJ Menace has done it for years with his night spot; and other promoters/event coordinators have done it for years in A-town; which is to bring people from within and out of town/state to come in and spend money within the the confines of the Queen City and return annually.) It's too bad we had to do this without the full support and sometimes in spite of attacks from the "powers that be"...

We CAN Do Better...

Alfonso Todd

www.alfonsotodd.com

Anonymous said...

Simply a portend of the future. These folks believe the arena project will generate such incredible demand, they do not need a business plan. Only when it fails will people realize the shortcoming of not dealing with these issues up front. Take a ride down Hamilton St. on Sunday evening about 7:00 pm - Ghost Town. How can the "high end" restaurants in Allentown exist on the paltry customer flow characteristic of the downtown dining area?