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La Crosse Center may end 2020 with $1 M loss

Brad Williams

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The La Crosse Center could end a calendar year of event cancellations and new construction with more than a million dollars in red ink. 

Center director Art Fahey says the building showed a loss of $147,000 in October, bringing the deficit so far in 2020 to $945,000. 

Fahey says the year-end total could reach $1.1 million, as the building saw most events cancelled due to COVID-19. 

He’s looking at ways that the center can make up some losses through a state grant aimed at helping live entertainment venues restore lost revenue from 2020.  

The Center expansion project includes a grand, new two-story entrance with a staircase and escalators. 

So how should the building decorate the fancy new lobby? 

Members of the center board are leaning toward putting big photos of the river and other nature shots on the lobby walls. 

Historic old pictures of La Crosse have been suggested, but board member Doug Farmer says you can see historic photos in any hotel lobby in America.    

“I’ve never been a place that had magnificent color pictures of the topography around where I was staying,” said Farmer, “and there’s a reason for that: because they haven’t got what we’ve got.”

The La Crosse Center lobby walls might also feature pictures of many celebrities who have performed in the building since it opened 40 years ago.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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