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Merriweather Considers Enclosure For Year-Round Concerts

COLUMBIA, MD (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion may soon become a year-round venue, thanks to support from Howard County Executive Kenneth Ulman.

Ulman is pushing a plan to temporarily enclose the venue in the winter, and has even proposed that the county purchase the venue from Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. to ensure support for the plan.

Seth Hurwitz, co-owner of It’s My Party Inc., the company that operates the venue on an annual lease with General Growth, told the Columbia Flier that a $100,000 study to determine the best way to enclose the pavilion would be necessary for Ulman’s proposal to move forward.

A similar plan was floated in 2004 by then-owner the Rouse Co., to downsize the venue and permanently enclose the space. Then-county exec James Robey also issued a report in 2005 suggesting that the county buy the venue and begin a $19.5 million renovation, but nothing was done after General Growth announce plans to start renovations on its own.

Ulman said earlier in the month that he would like to see the company enclose the pavilion in a way that would allow it operate in the winter, but continue to operate as an open-air pavilion during the summer months. The revenue collected from winter shows would help to pay for needed upgrades at the venue, which in turn would be able to attract larger audiences and more performers, according to Ulman.

The county, Hurwitz and Ulman have discussed a system using artificial walls and radiant heat that would rise from the floor to keep patrons warm, and are looking at pavilions in Hartford, CT and Camden, NJ, that use a similar system. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers