Antelope Island group considers cover for amphitheater

Jan 26 2012 - 5:18pm

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Dr. Bozniak describes the ecology of Antelope Island at the Visitors Center Amphitheater. WSU field trip photo.
Dr. Bozniak describes the ecology of Antelope Island at the Visitors Center Amphitheater. WSU field trip photo.

ANTELOPE ISLAND -- The canvass covering the Antelope Island amphitheater is weather-worn and in need of replacing.

Friends of Antelope Island plan to discuss the issue at a meeting scheduled for 7:30 a.m., March 7, in Rm. 219 of the Davis County Memorial Courthouse, 28 E. State Street, Farmington.

The need to replace the 13-year-old cover on the island's outdoor theater is not a direct result of looking to use the theater this summer for concerts, but the need for a new cover does correspond with upgrading the theater, said Spence Kinard, a Friends of Antelope Island board member.

The 100-seat island amphitheater, where school groups meet for educational purposes, was built in 1998 and paid for by the Bill Childs family, long associated with the RC Willey's Home Furnishing Stores.

Kinard said the Childs family has been notified of the board's interest in replacing the cover with either a new canvass top, at cost of about $12,500, or a metal retractable cover, at about twice the cost of a canvass cover.

Friends of Antelope Island are considering using the amphitheater as a concert venue in the summer should it obtain some art grant funding, according to Wendy Wilson, park naturalist.

It is possible, "but not likely," the funds needed for the cover could come from Davis County's tourism tax revenues, Kinard said, also a member of the Davis County Tourism Tax Advisory Board.

The difficulty in using tourism funds to pay for the cover is, in the past, TTAB has made it a practice to avoid making recommendations to the Davis County Commission to use that revenue stream to fund "anything that is not a brick or mortar structure," Kinard said.

However, Antelope Island is Davis County's second largest tourist attraction -- only behind Lagoon. The island had a bit more than 282,000 visitors during the calendar year 2011, according to Barbara Riddle, the Davis Area Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO.

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