Cobo Authority Reports Profits Up $2.2 Million


DETROIT – The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority announced total revenue increased 3 percent through the first six months of the 2013 fiscal year compared with the first half of 2012, while an increase in operating expenses in the same period was attributable to full operation of two parking garages and a harsher winter.

“We knew this fiscal year would be a transition for us because the new ballroom and atrium won’t be online until late this summer, and we wouldn’t see revenue from several one-time events we had in 2012,” said Patrick Bero, CEO/CFO. “We planned accordingly by holding expenses in check and improving the revenue from events we’ve had so far.”

The DRCFA budget forecast a net loss of $1.5 million for the full 2013 fiscal year, but it recorded a net profit of $2.2 million through the first six months. The net gain was $744,000, or 51 percent, higher than the budget anticipated. The full-year forecast includes a $425,000 contingency fund for unforeseen expenses.

Operating expenses through the first half of 2013 were $7.9 million, compared to $7.2 million for the same period a year ago. Expenses were higher than the same period of 2012 because both the Washington Boulevard and Congress Street garages were fully open, while a harsher winter raised costs for snow removal and utilities. However, first-half expenses were almost 5 percent under the budget of $8.4 million.

Total revenue for the first six months was $13.1 million, exceeding the budget by $332,000 and eclipsing revenue during the same period of 2012 by $416,000, or 3 percent.

The Authority’s $279 million Cobo Center capital improvement project remains on schedule and on budget, Bero said. The project was 53 percent complete at the end of March and remains on track for full completion by January 2015.