**** Detailed update on SOE Utopia’s venue Issues and our future at The Ranch ****
So I have been waiting for the situation to take a direction in one way or another… and it hasn’t… So I figured I should Inform everyone of what’s going on so everyone can be fully informed.
As some of you may be aware The Ranch has been under financial stress for the last 2 years. This has caused the owners to split up. Both of these issues have caused a lot of problems with the reliability of the venue to provide their end of what needs to be done to throw events. Water/electric being shut off, No toilet paper, not adequately staffing the events. Owners leaving during the events and not being available to fix issues that arise with the venue during the events.
The reason we have not released any future events is because there is a high likelihood they could lose the ranch in the near future. And we are waiting to see if they can save it or not.
Additionally, This destabilized atmosphere has led to other issues like people being allowed in the venue that steal/break our gear/art. Which costs us about $200-$300 an event if you average out over the last couple of years.
They have also repeatedly asked us for loans to help with business expenses. Which we gave them out of the kindness of our hearts because we are friends and have a mutual interest in the business succeeding. over the last 2 years, Arielle and I have loaned them approx. $15,000 of our personal money. Which if we were to stop working on the business and it fails, It would be difficult for them to pay back.
After weighing all the pros/cons of this extremely complex situation, At this time it is still the best home for our events for several reasons… The low rental fee allows us to keep the ticket price low… The ability to store our massive amount of art on-site and leave our lighting hooked up, Which allows us to have a much higher level of production with a minimal need to transport/set up gear before events…. And because our community already knows how to set-up/break down at that venue, which helps our core crew a lot as we are super tired from years of throwing events.