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December 16, 2020 - 6:37pm

Batavia Downs Gaming ramping up for summer concert series; Don Felder, Molly Hatchet set to appear

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, WROTB, Batavia Downs Gaming.

Batavia Downs Gaming is gearing up for the resumption of its summer concert series and will have a brand-new stage for the performers to belt out their tunes.

Directors of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation today supported an expenditure of about $110,000 to purchase the stage from Audio Images Sound & Lighting, a local company located at 2 Treadeasy Drive, Batavia.

“This is a quality stage -- and the price is outstanding,” said Henry Wojtaszek, WROTB president and chief executive officer. “We have been paying $120,000 a year to rent a stage and now we can buy one for less than that and it will last easily for five years.”

Wojtaszek said WROTB will continue a separate contract for operation of the lights and soundboard on concert dates.

As far as the 2021 lineup, he reported that seven of the eight concerts are confirmed. Currently, only July 30 is open. The other dates are June 25, July 2, July 9, July 16, July 23, Aug. 6 and Aug. 13.

Acts scheduled to visit Batavia Downs Gaming this summer include Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles; Molly Hatchet, and Steve Augeri, former lead singer of Journey.

In other developments:

  • Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach said that November was a “break-even month,” putting a further damper on the year that saw proceeds up by $1 million through February compared to the same time frame in 2019 before COVID-19 reared its ugly head.

“As a result, there will be no earnings distribution for 2020, but the surcharge, which goes to the municipalities (supported by WROTB) is $725,000,” she said, adding that the $64,000 in surcharge generated in November will be distributed in a couple weeks.

Leach reported that the $3.1 million Payroll Protection Program loan received by Batavia Downs Gaming for COVID-19 pandemic relief is expected to be “fully forgiven” per program guidelines.

She also provided projections for the 2021 operating plan with expected distributions on an annualized basis totaling $1.4 million in earnings and $812,705 in surcharges.

  • The board approved the corporations’ vehicle use policy, and was informed by Wojtaszek that plans call for downsizing the fleet, which is at about 40 vehicles currently.

He said WROTB could save money by reducing the number of cars and trucks, and giving a stipend instead to those who currently are using company vehicles extensively. Less than 10 people have use of company cars on an everyday basis, he noted.

  • Salaries for WROTB officers approved for 2021 are as follows: Wojtaszek, president/CEO/general counsel, $191,846; Leach, $144,746; Scott Kiedrowski, VP/Operations, $107,420; William White, VP/Administration, $107,399; Michael Nolan, COO, $119,704.

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