> Home > WestWorld of Scottsdale > History of WestWorld of Scottsdale > Business Plan - WestWorld of Scottsdale

Business Plan - WestWorld of Scottsdale

WestWorld of Scottsdale WestWorld Business Plan
Approved By Scottsdale City Council and the Bureau of Reclamation March 1998

 

Purpose

This report serves to further address the financial, operational and strategic intentions of WestWorld as identified in the March 26, 1997 WestWorld Business Plan ("Interim Report"). The WestWorld Business Plan will be used by the City of Scottsdale, as noted in the Interim Report, as a complement to the:

  • Cost Sharing and Land Use Agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR)
  • WestWorld of Scottsdale, Management and Facility Operations Plan
  • WestWorld Fee Schedule, approved and on file with the BOR
  • WestWorld Master Plan

This report addresses WestWorld’s broad range of organizational elements, including a strategic plan (vision, mission, critical objectives and strategies), financial impact of the strategic plan, master plan update, accounting methods, financial structures for fund raising, organizational structures, staffing models, programming and marketing. In addition, background, facts/findings, conclusions and recommendations are given for each of the organizational elements.

The WestWorld planning team has completed several of the "Future Steps" identified in the Interim Report and has incorporated the results of those efforts into this report’s "Facts/Findings". Recommendations range from the specific that can be done in the near term future to those that are contingent upon future events. The availability of resources also impacts the recommendations.

The recommendations of this report represent the WestWorld planning team’s best professional judgment, not final policy. This report serves as a stepping stone for the WestWorld/TPC/Stadium Subcommittee review and ultimate presentation to the Scottsdale City Council.

History of WestWorld

1982

The City of Scottsdale entered into a Recreational Land Use Agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation to operate and develop the Bureau property, now identified as WestWorld.

The City of Scottsdale developed Horseman’s Park as a replacement for the old Cholla Park, which was closed to make room for the runway expansion at Scottsdale Airport.

1983

The City, with the approval and participation of the BOR, constructed two arenas; one dressage arena; arena lights; entry road; parking lot; and moved a building onto the property which would be used as a clubhouse and concession area.

1985

The City moved two additional buildings on to the property that would be used to house an administrative office and business show office onto the property.

1986

The City entered into a Use and Management agreement with K-Lin Corp., to operate and develop the Horseman’s Park facility. This agreement was reviewed and approved by the BOR.

1986

The City, with BOR approval, completed the initial construction of Horseman’s park for $10,000,000. This included grading the entire 385 acres, all infrastructure, six arenas, 10 barns, one Grand Prix field, two polo fields, and utilities for 600 temporary horse stalls for show use.

1987

K-Lin Corporation, with the City and BOR approval, built the covered Equidome arena.

1988

K-Lin Corporation, with the City and BOR approval, constructed what is now called Monterra Catering.

1988

The City submitted a conceptual Master Plan to the BOR for approval. The BOR was clear that this plan was conceptual and would require detailed submittals with all appropriate public input, and City review, in order to be considered by the BOR for implementation.

1993

The BOR requested that the City undertake a detailed review of the 1988 conceptual Master Plan, update it if necessary, and also develop a Facility Operation Plan identifying exactly how all facilities would operate and be available to the public. K-Lin sold its 50% interest in WestWorld to its co-partner, Horseworld Joint Venture (HJV).

1995

The BOR approved the Facility Operation Plan and the revised Master Plan again, with the understanding that any facilities not existing would require appropriate public input and City process review. The BOR withheld approval of the proposed historic village until further information was available.

1995

The City of Scottsdale completed rezoning of WestWorld to a Western Theme Park zoning, and open space zoning, which is appropriate for existing facilities at WestWorld. The Western Theme Park zoning stipulates that any proposal for a historic village or western town must be submitted for Planning Commission and City Council approval.

January 1, 1997

HJV sold its assets and license rights under the Use and Management Agreement for $4,400,000 to the City. This required a transfer of $400,000 from the capital contingency fund for the purchase of the tangible assets, and future debt service payments over a four year period for the purchase of the license rights. The City also has an option for a one time payment with a discount of $400,000.

Several agreements were also negotiated at the time of the City took over the management of WestWorld.

    • Agreement #960213, between the City of Scottsdale and HJV, d.b.a. WestWorld of Scottsdale, HJV sold its license rights and tangible and intangible property interests in the WestWorld facility to the City.
    • Agreement #960214, between the City of Scottsdale and Pegasus Restaurant and Catering, Inc., ("Pegasus"), d.b.a. WestWorld of Scottsdale, the City granted Pegasus concession rights to operate a restaurant and or catering operation at the WestWorld facility.
    • Agreement #960215, between the City of Scottsdale and Capital Realty Corp. (Scottsdale), ("Capital"), the City granted Capital the rights to develop and operate a golf course at the WestWorld facility.
    • Agreement #960214 authorized Pegasus to operate a restaurant and catering concession on-site. Agreement #960215 authorized Capital as the golf course concessionaire and requires Capital to finance, develop, construct and operate an 18-hole golf course at the east end of WestWorld. Under these agreements, the City will receive a percentage of the revenues generated.

Strategic Plan - Vision, Mission, Critical Objectives and Strategies - Background

The City of Scottsdale assumed management responsibility and purchased the fixed assets of WestWorld effective January 1, 1997. The BOR owns the land that WestWorld is situated on. WestWorld now serves as a Scottsdale community asset. The WestWorld planning team sought community input and City staff insight to help shape WestWorld’s strategic plan. Potential financial impacts are identified in the Financial Impact of the Strategic Plan section of this report.

Facts/Findings:

The WestWorld planning committee received community input on WestWorld’s future through several small group discussions. Participants included community members representing the hospitality industry, the equestrian industry, nearby landowners, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other identified stakeholders of WestWorld.

Appendix A, Community WestWorld Discussions, A Summary Document, describes the outcome of this community input effort. The community input was shared with the WestWorld planning team and other key city staff in planning charette and other meetings.

Appendix B, WestWorld Vision, A Planning Charette, describes the outcome of this planning charette effort and its role in the development of the WestWorld vision.

The WestWorld planning team felt it was important to capture the "Givens" or operating premises in order to create a base from which to develop the strategic plan. The planning team also wanted to capture WestWorld’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), along with its business, physical and regulatory environments. The development of the Givens, SWOT and Environments are result of several planning meetings and are detailed in Appendix C.

Conclusions:

Using the community focus group, WestWorld planning team and other key City staff input, the following have been identified as key considerations for WestWorld’s strategic plan, its future operations and potential further development of the facility:

  • WestWorld should maintain a western and equestrian focus
  • Need to enhance recreational access for the local equestrian community
  • WestWorld should serve as a community center piece and is adjacent to the gateway to the McDowell Mountains
  • WestWorld will be surrounded by development and should be a good neighbor
  • WestWorld should be a user-friendly equestrian center
  • Special events at WestWorld are important
  • WestWorld should be a pedestrian friendly facility
  • Parking facilities need to be maintained and enhanced
  • Additional improvements and the development of a flexible facility are needed to draw new major events
  • Prior ownership has deferred facility maintenance and equipment replacement

Recommendations:

The WestWorld planning team recommends the following Strategic Plan - Vision, Mission, Critical Objectives and Strategies:

Vision - WestWorld is a premier, nationally recognized, user friendly equestrian center and special event facility serving our community and target market visitors.

Mission - WestWorld of Scottsdale is dedicated to providing public recreational opportunities and a venue for entertainment activities with an emphasis on equestrian and western theme events to citizens and target market visitors. WestWorld will enhance Scottsdale’s image as the West’s Most Western Town. WestWorld will offer equal public access and excellent customer service.

Critical Objectives and Strategies further detail how WestWorld can apply its human resources and financial resources to accomplish its vision and mission. There are four categories for WestWorld’s critical objectives and strategies.

  • Address Operational and Facility Needs and Opportunities
  • Establish a Foundation On Which To Build
  • Capital Enhancement Opportunities
  • Build Out Opportunities

Address Operational and Facility Needs and Opportunities:

The period of time from the City’s purchase of WestWorld to date represents a great learning period. During this time we have gained greater insights into WestWorld’s operational and facility needs, some of which were not known and/or quantified, even as the 1997-99 biennial budget was developed. Some of these needs may be met within the existing biennial budget. Other needs may require additional funding or may have to be deferred.

We also now have the benefit of having researched like type and competing facilities, including site visits to several facilities. This experience and learning has helped us identify new opportunities. The critical objectives and strategies in support of operational and facility needs and opportunities are:

  • Address WestWorld's facility, equipment, safety, and staffing needs to provide a sound operating basis for its future success, by June 1999.
  • Address facility maintenance needs
  • Pursue sponsorships and secure funding
  • Develop and implement a "friends" support group
  • Address equipment needs not secured through sponsorships, friends or other means
  • Perform a work management study
  • Seek supplemental labor pool (i.e., community service workers)
  • Install technology network infrastructure
  • Examine WestWorld's operational efficiency and effectiveness, by June 1999.
  • Develop reservation policies and targeted marketing plan to attract events that support the WestWorld vision
  • Perform a rate and fee analysis
  • Examine feed and bedding operations
  • Develop a manure disposal plan
  • Develop a monthly reporting system (i.e., Reno)
  • Quantify the economic impact of WestWorld (by event) to the City
  • Establish a Foundation On Which To Build. This category relates to WestWorld continuing to operate and meet the current programmed obligations, but improves the facility to meet community equestrian and visitor needs.

This part of the strategic plan is essential in order for WestWorld to establish a foundation for the future and serve as a community centerpiece. Accomplishing either or both of the critical objectives below serves to create a more flexible facility. Flexible refers to WestWorld’s ability to host a multitude of different types of events. Flexible also refers to the number of events WestWorld can host, which is related to the speed in turn around (set up and tear down) time for the next event.

The critical objectives and supporting strategies in support of establishing a foundation on which to build are:

  • Create a more user friendly facility that provides year-round, open public access and recreation opportunities for community equestrian users and visitors.
  • Develop a combination trailhead and public recreation area east of Brett’s Barn. This would include a minimum of two lighted arenas, a combination meeting room and snack bar (with rest rooms), parking lot and concession. Access would be via Thompson Peak Parkway.
  • Relocate the existing Livery Operation to an area adjacent to the new trailhead
  • Integrate trailhead, bike paths and horse trails systems, and the desert greenbelt in the WestWorld facility to provide a link to the gateway to the McDowell Mountains (Desert Discovery Center).
  • Update infrastructure master plan.
  • Address immediate special event needs.
  • Bury existing utility pedestals, repair and resurface existing surface areas, improve drainage and add asphalt where appropriate.
  • Evaluate what types of surrounding land uses would be compatible with WestWorld operations.
  • Consider incorporating compatible land uses into an area specific plan.
  • Look for opportunities to create natural buffering.

Capital Enhancement Opportunities:

This category captures the opportunities identified from site visits, research and community input to take the facility to another programming level and further develop the facility’s flexibility and attractiveness. The critical objective and supporting strategies in support of capital enhancement opportunities are:

  • Expand weekday uses, the shoulder season and further enhance this venue’s ability to draw new major events and new programming activity.
  • Construct an exhibit hall north of the Equidome. This would eliminate the exhibit tents, which in turn would decrease turn around time (no construction or removal of exhibit tents)
  • Remodel Equidome, Phase I, which includes concreting dirt exhibit areas, installing folding bleachers on north side, upgrading existing rest room facilities and constructing a permanent show office
  • Construct a large event public rest room complex with an RV utility area adjacent to the polo field
  • Install four to six ramada style roof structures on the field south of the Equidome and purchase portable stall units to replace temporary stalls and provide additional covered exhibit area
  • Cover arena #4 to allow for weather proofing of multiple events
  • Develop and implement a landscaping plan
  • Build Out Opportunities. This category represents what WestWorld might do to meet maximum facility demands. Proceeding into this category would most likely occur only after the previous success of "Establish a Foundation On Which To Build" and "Capital Enhancement Opportunities". It expands on the Capital Enhancement Opportunities. The critical objective and supporting strategies in support of build out opportunities are:
  • Expands weekday uses, the shoulder season and further enhance this venue’s ability to draw new major events and new programming activity.
  • Construct three new permanent barns.
  • Install 100 new RV locations adjacent to large event rest room facility
  • Asphalt pathways in all permanent barns

  • Cover arena #3 to further weather proof for multiple events
  • Remodel Equidome, Phase II, which includes adding weather doors, evaporative coolers, heating system, and PA system and folding bleachers south side

Financial Impact of the Strategic Plan:

Background:

This section of the report serves to quantify the potential financial impact of the recommended Strategic Plan in this report. WestWorld completed its first six months of operations under City management on June 30, 1997. As noted in the Strategic Plan, many of WestWorld’s operational and facility needs and opportunities were not known and/or quantified at the time the budget was prepared. In addition, the 1997-99, biennial operating budget was established without the historical experience of City management. Some of these needs may be met within the existing biennial budget. Other needs will require additional funding or will have to be deferred.

This Business Plan is based on the target assumption that WestWorld strive to achieve a level of revenues that meet operating expenses. WestWorld’s return on investment is reflected in its value as a Scottsdale Community Centerpiece, as an attractive venue for national and international equestrian events and its economic development impact.

Facts/Findings:

Prior ownership has deferred facility maintenance and vehicle and equipment replacement. Strategies are identified in the strategic plan to address these and their potential financial impacts are identified below. In addition, WestWorld has telecommunication needs, which are partially unfunded. Further, capital projects identified have a potentially significant financial impact and are currently unfunded.

Facility Repairs and Improvements:

WestWorld staff has identified approximately $266,000 of facility repair and improvement costs that are either safety related or relate to repairs and improvements that need to take place to prevent further decay of the asset. Appendix D details the projects and their costs.

Vehicles and Equipment:

WestWorld staff has identified "at risk" vehicles and equipment that are in poor condition and require frequent repair. The age of vehicles that are included in the list ranges from 12-29 years. Replacement or leasing of vehicles and equipment are alternatives to the current ongoing repair.

WestWorld has approximately $36,000 budgeted for machinery rental in each year of the 1997-99 budget. WestWorld will rent equipment and vehicles as necessary to meet its current operational needs. Appendix E details WestWorld’s "at risk" vehicles and equipment. This is not a comprehensive list of the vehicles and equipment at WestWorld. A fleet management plan has been developed that evaluates WestWorld’s vehicle and equipment needs.

Telecommunications:

Providing WestWorld with the same data and voice services currently in use at other City locations would cost an estimated $145,000. The new PBX is funded, but there is no budget to fund the TDM system and infrastructure upgrades. Requirements are as follows:

  • TDM system (provides voice and data over one high speed line) $15,000
  • New PBX (allows for the same phone services as campus locations, with reduced monthly US West costs) $35,000
  • Infrastructure upgrades (copper and fiber) $95,000

Capital Projects:

These projects are in support of the vision and represent the input from community focus groups and city staff. The projects are unfunded. $250,000 for "design phase" funding would be required immediately, should the "Foundation on Which To Build" capital projects be expected to be completed by year end 1998.

Risk Management:

Upon acquiring the operations of WestWorld on January 1, 1997, the liability insurance and safety measures in place were reviewed by Risk Management staff. The prior owner carried a General Liability and Property insurance policy that provided first dollar (no deductible or retention) liability insurance protection up to $1,000,000.

The risk exposures of WestWorld operations were assessed and identified to be unique among City operations with significant premises liability risks involved in the various operations and events. As a result of unique exposures and implementing over time Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) safety standards, along with the insurer providing attractive prices to maintain the prior owner’s policy, the policy was deemed to be cost effective and extended rather than place the primary WestWorld exposures in the overall City’s self insurance program.

The cost of the policy is $17,553 for the period 7/1/97 to 6/30/98 for the $1,000,000 liability insurance. Liability protection in excess of said policy is placed in the overall City’s Umbrella insurance program, which has current coverage up to $40,000,000.

City staff continues to work with WestWorld to improve safety measures to bring them up to VPP standards and we will continue to measure the cost effectiveness of purchasing a primary policy as opposed to placing WestWorld into the overall City self insured program.

Conclusions:

WestWorld has a variety of financial resource demands that are not specifically budgeted. WestWorld does have the capacity to address some of the financial resource demands in its 1997-99 budget. The full use of budgeted expenditures is likely to occur and may result in operating losses for those years. Other projects with financial resource demands will not occur if funds are not specifically identified.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that the following actions be taken.

  • Facility Repairs and Improvements:
  • WestWorld request $265,900 in the current off year operating budget process for facility repairs and improvements
  • WestWorld request the necessary funds in future operating budget years for a sound facility maintenance program
  • Vehicles and Equipment:
  • WestWorld request $192,000 in the current off year operating budget process to fund the recommended fleet management plan
  • WestWorld continue to seek support through sponsorships and "friends" programs to help meet vehicle and equipment needs

Telecommunications:

  • WestWorld request $110,000 in the upcoming off year capital budget process to meet its telecommunications needs

Capital Projects:

  • City Council approve $100,000 in capital contingency funds (current balance is approximately $1 million) to supplement the $150,000 being made available by the Tourism Development Commission for the design phase of "Foundation on Which to Build" capital projects
  • WestWorld request $2,250,000 in the upcoming off year capital improvement program budget process to construct the "Foundation on Which to Build" capital projects
  • WestWorld further examine potential funding partnerships and/or options for funding capital projects as follows:
  • Tourism Development Commission funds for "Foundation On Which To Build"
  • The use of MPC bonds with a dedicated revenue source (e.g., cost avoidance for tent rentals for signature events to partially fund the construction of a north exhibit hall)
  • Consider a privately funded construction and management of an exhibit hall, where WestWorld would get a percentage of gross receipts
  • Risk Management:
  • WestWorld should continue to work with the City’s Risk Management division to bring its safety measures up to VPP standards
  • It is recommended that WestWorld staff attend mandatory safety training, which is available with Community Maintenance and Recreation

Master Plan Update

Background:

The current WestWorld Master Plan, approved by and on file with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), was prepared when a private sector operator managed WestWorld. The approved Master Plan (updated October 1995) includes provisions for all existing facilities, for a public golf course and for the conceptual development of an Indian Cultural Center, new trailhead and location of livery operation, historic village, and a modified polo field and small outdoor amphitheater.

Facts/Findings:

As a result of the City’s acquisition of WestWorld, and subsequent public discussions, a vision for WestWorld as a user friendly community equestrian center and special event facility has emerged. In support of this vision, community focus groups and city staff have identified a number of possible capital improvements and changes to WestWorld (all unfunded).

This vision, the possibility of new and changed facilities, and the changing circulation patterns to and from WestWorld necessitated by the completion of the Thompson Peak Parkway and the Pima Freeway, highlight the need to update the WestWorld Master Plan.

Conclusion:

A WestWorld Master Plan update begins with 12 years of operating history, an approved Master Plan, an approved Management and Facilities Operations Plan, and this Business Plan. The update, then, will validate the future direction and vision of WestWorld as articulated by the Scottsdale City Council.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that the WestWorld Master Plan on file with the BOR be updated to reflect any approved capital improvements as outlined in the strategic plan of this report.

In addition a facility analysis should take place in conjunction with design of new facilities, and include the following:

  • Infrastructure (design and capacity):
  • Circulation
  • Water & sewer capacity
  • Drainage & grading
  • Utilities
  • Facility Improvements:
  • Buildings
  • Outdoor facilities
  • Parking/service areas
  • Thematic Character:
  • Architecture
  • Landscaping
  • Pedestrian scale
  • Buffering opportunities

Accounting Methods - General Fund versus Enterprise Fund Accounting

Background:

The WestWorld planning committee has been asked to explore alternative accounting methods to report WestWorld’s results of operations.

Facts/Findings:

General fund accounting is the method currently being used to account for WestWorld. Enterprise accounting is an alternative method that could be used to account for WestWorld.

The treatment of depreciation and debt service in the statement of revenues and expenditures differ in general fund and enterprise accounting in the following ways:

  • Depreciation Debt Service
  • General Fund Accounting Not recorded Record both principal and interest.
  • Enterprise Fund Accounting Recorded Record interest portion only of debt service.
  • This different treatment of reporting depreciation and debt service can make a significant impact in the statement of revenue and expenditures, even though the cash flow would be the same under each method for a given year. Appendix G, Statements of Revenues and Expenditures and Cash Flows (illustrative purposes only), is provided to demonstrate the difference of reporting on a general and enterprise fund basis.
  • Using the general fund method to account for WestWorld’s results of operations reports a larger loss than the enterprise method, but only as long as WestWorld has debt service. WestWorld’s debt service is complete in 2005-06. Subsequent to the debt retirement, the WestWorld cash flow projections reflect a positive cash flow. The Statement of Revenues and Expenditures, general fund method, more closely reflects WestWorld’s actual cash flow.
  • The City’s overall bonding capacity would not be enhanced by reporting WestWorld in an enterprise fund as bonding capacity relates to general obligation bonds and real property assessed valuations. WestWorld’s current debt is municipal property corporation and contractual debt.

Conclusions:

The City needs to not only compare how the results of operations look in deciding on which basis to report WestWorld’s operations and which method more closely reflects actual cash flow, but should also look to the authoritative literature to help guide its decision.

Governmental authoritative literature related to establishing an enterprise fund denotes the following:

  • "Once it is determined that an activity should be accounted for in an Enterprise Fund, a separate fund should be established for each distinct service provided by the governmental unit." [Governmental GAAP Guide]
  • "Each fund must be accounted for in a separate self-balancing set of accounts for its assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, expenditures or expenses (as appropriate), and transfers." [NCGAS 1, paragraph 21]
  • "When the flow of economic resources is applied on an accrual basis for a governmental fund, all assets and liabilities, both current and long-term, would be presented in the fund’s balance sheet." [Governmental GAAP Guide]
  • "A major assumption in accounting is that economic activity can be identified with a particular unit of accountability. In other words, the activity of a business enterprise can be kept separate and distinct from its owners and any other business unit." [Intermediate Accounting, Basic Assumptions of Accounting]
  • ". . . . The matching principle thus dictates that efforts (expenses) be matched with accomplishments (revenue) if feasible. [Intermediate Accounting, Basic Principles of Accounting]

If presented as an Enterprise Fund, WestWorld would appear in an individual column on the Statement of Retained Earnings, and Balance Sheet; and a Statement of Cash Flows would be required. However, if WestWorld activity is presented as "Governmental", the activity is combined with other city operations into the applicable governmental funds such as General Fund, Debt Service Fund, etc. and a Statement of Cash Flows is not required.

Using the enterprise method of accounting will result in depreciation being recorded for approximately fifteen more years for the original construction costs and approximately twenty years for the fixed assets. This does not include any depreciation for capital improvements or possible additional improvements. The effect of this, given current operating income projections, is a net loss for many years to come. Thus, the use of the enterprise method of accounting for WestWorld would not be appropriate, under its existing organizational structure.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that WestWorld use the general fund method to account for its operations under its current organizational structure.

Financial Structures for Fund Raising

Background:

One of the financial facts/findings from the WestWorld Research Report was that many of the like type and competing facilities use non-profits, foundations and/or sponsorships to donate resources to support their facility. The City of Scottsdale has a couple of financial structures already in place to facilitate resource donations.

Facts/Findings:

  • Trust Fund/Expendable Donations.

The use of the City’s trust fund provides an opportunity for potential donors to make tax deductible contributions for specific uses. The City provides donors a letter and legal opinion as to the tax deductibility of their charitable contribution. This trust fund provides the flexibility to receive donations, deposit the money in a City account and have it available for distribution in a relatively short period of time. The trust fund should be used for those donations where the donor approves of the disbursement of the principal donation. The trust fund should not be used when the donor’s intention is to preserve the principal donation for perpetuity and only the income stream is to be disbursed.

The following steps are required to establish a trust fund in Accounting:

  • A memo would need to be sent to the Grants and Trusts Accounting Coordinator describing the intent of the establishment of a WestWorld Trust Fund.
  • The intent should be stated in broad terms (e.g., "to support WestWorld"); and
  • A person and/or group would need to be identified to authorize expenditures and identified as such in the memo to Accounting. Currently, city staff serve as administrators for several established trust funds.
  • Endowments and the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF).

Endowments are donations in which the principal donation is to be preserved in perpetuity and the income stream is to be used or disbursed to support the donation’s original intent. This financial structure provides an alternative to the potential donor who does not want to see the principal donation be disbursed.

The City of Scottsdale has aligned itself with ACF for the purposes of establishing endowments for various community needs. ACF is an 18 year old philanthropy with $100 million in assets.

Its mission is:

  • To meet the charitable needs of Arizona’s communities through grants, technical assistance and other services to non-profit organizations
  • To accomplish this goal by attracting and managing in perpetuity capital gifts (living and testamentary) from individuals, families, corporations, agencies and private foundations; and
  • To exercise leadership on select community issues and advance the cause of organized philanthropy throughout the state.

The City of Scottsdale has aligned itself with ACF by becoming an Affiliate Community Foundation, through the establishment of the Scottsdale Community Endowment Fund.

An affiliate foundation does not have separate tax status, but operates under the umbrella of the ACF, a certified tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue (Federal Tax) Code. Donors may specify that funds be earmarked for the partial or exclusive benefit of the community, then gifts are made directly to ACF and are therefore tax deductible.

A separately named fund within the Scottsdale Community Endowment Fund can be established with a minimum donation of $20,000.

  • Sponsorships and Other.

The Reno Livestock and Events Center received a sponsorship for a scoreboard. The City of Conyers, GA does the sponsorships for its Georgia International Horse Park, with private companies such as Ford. Other facilities also promote such programs as "Friends of the Park" and "Memorial Tree Program" as ways for people to donate resources to support their facility. In addition, some facilities use separate entities with the sole purpose of promoting the visibility and raising of capital funds to support their facility. The Scottsdale Charros have expressed an interest in being a resource for WestWorld.

Conclusions:

WestWorld’s operating expenses, debt service requirements and capital needs exceed its current revenues. Established trust and endowment funds provide structure to allow for tax deductible donations to benefit WestWorld. Sponsorships and programs such as "Friends of the Park" could benefit WestWorld as well.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that:

  • WestWorld coordinate with the City’s Accounting department to establish a trust fund
  • WestWorld coordinate with the City’s Endowment Officer to establish an endowment fund within the City’s Affiliate Community Foundation umbrella
  • WestWorld explore opportunities to establish sponsorships with private companies to help support WestWorld
  • WestWorld consider a community based support group (e.g., Friends of the Park) and similar programs to promote the visibility of, and raise capital for, WestWorld

Organizational Structures

Background:

The WestWorld planning committee has been asked to explore alternative organizational structures for WestWorld.

Facts/Findings:

  • Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA). The only Authority identified in the WestWorld Research Report was the RSCVA, which:
  • is governed by Nevada Revised Statutes (244.597 - 244.667)
  • transformed over several years from the Washoe County Fair and Recreation Board
  • is a separate governmental entity with a general fund, special revenue fund, debt service fund, etc.
  • is governed by the same state statutes that govern cities and counties
  • is independently audited on a stand alone basis

The RSCVA has an independent 12 member board of directors comprised of the following:

    • 7 private sector members (3 in the gaming industry, one each from finance/banking, the hotel business, airport business, and business in general)
    • 2 county commissioners
    • 2 Reno city council members
    • 1 Sparks city council member

The City Attorney’s Office has reviewed the Nevada Revised Statutes that allowed for the establishment of the RSCVA and has concluded that a similar Authority concept is not available under the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) for WestWorld.

Other Authorities, Financing Agencies and/or Districts:

The City Attorney’s Office has researched the ARS with regards to the possibility of a city-established entity to hold and operate WestWorld and similar recreational assets.

The closest thing found to an entity that could acquire, own, finance and operate business like ventures was found in ARS Sections 35-701 et seq., "Industrial Development Financing".

The legislation authorizes the incorporation of industrial development corporations or authorities (IDAs) that have broad powers of financing (including issuing bonds), acquiring properties, developing and selling them. The legislative history indicates, however, that the legislature did not intend for the IDAs to operate the businesses. The legislation appears more geared toward attracting investment and development by the private sector into the community.

No enabling legislation in Arizona for economic development authorities per se, at least not so named, was found. Nothing usable for WestWorld was discovered in the statutes governing special taxing districts. For example, Community Park Maintenance Districts are limited to parks of 160 acres or less when multiple contiguous facilities are held in more than one county.

Long Term Self Sufficiency - Public Golf, the BOR, and Flood Control Properties:

The future development of the WestWorld public golf course will mean that the WestWorld facility will be almost equally divided with roughly one half being a public golf facility and the other half a public facility whose vision is detailed in this business plan.

All of the WestWorld land is owned by the BOR. The BOR also owns the land that the TPC public golf course is located on. The TPC and WestWorld facilities both act as flood retention basins. The land on which the Indian Bend Wash public golf course is to be developed and the land that the Coronado Golf Course is built on both serve to alleviate flooding.

The debt used to finance the construction of the TPC golf facility is repaid through the City’s lease agreement with the Princess Hotel and lease payments from the PGA tour. While none of these facilities are exactly the same, they do have overlapping commonalties relating to public golf, the BOR and flood control. The grouping of these facilities into a single enterprise or entity could position them to be self sufficient in the long term.

Appendix H - Combined Princess, TPC and WestWorld Constant Dollar Cash Flows (illustrative purposes only) shows when established debt would be retired and when the estimated timing of positive cash flows might occur.

Conclusions:

Authorities are not a viable organizational structure for WestWorld. The Combined Princess, TPC and WestWorld Constant Dollar Cash Flows (illustrative purposes only) shows that a positive cash flow might occur in 2006-07.

Recommendations:

The Accounting Methods section of this report recommends that WestWorld use the general fund method to account for its operations under its current organizational structure. It is also recommended that WestWorld reexamine the feasibility of an enterprise fund subsequent to the retirement of its debt and when further development of golf course facilities in the flood control properties offer additional revenue opportunities.

Staffing Models

Background:

As a part of completing the WestWorld Business Plan, a staffing subcommittee was assembled to determine a staffing model most beneficial to this unique, 360 acre operation.

The charge was to develop a proposed staffing model and organizational structure for WestWorld for the present, for the 97/99 budget years, and for the future. The goal was to develop models and accompanying structure which would be the most effective and most efficient given current and proposed programming, and existing models used in other equestrian facilities, along with a variety of organizational structures.

All available materials on the history and current staffing and structure of WestWorld, information obtained from other equestrian facilities, and the staffing structures of nonprofit models like the Scottsdale Cultural Council and the Arizona Governmental Training Service were reviewed to develop the models.

The intent was to develop a dynamic staffing model. This model is flexible enough to meet the evolving nature of WestWorld’s operations and events, along with providing for an appropriate and auditable component of the overall WestWorld Business Plan.

Facts/Findings:

  • Previous and Current Staffing at WestWorld. The previous staffing of WestWorld consisted of 29 employees who were under contract to PDS, an employment contracting agency. As of April, 1997 eight of those employees moved into City of Scottsdale positions on a full-time basis. Those positions are as follows:
  • Facility Operations Manager
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Operations Coordinators
  • Sr. Account Clerk
  • Administrative Secretary
  • Clerk Typist
  • Maintenance Worker III

 

As of August, 1997, six contract individuals were also moved over to City of Scottsdale employment in the remaining part-time Maintenance Worker I positions on a temporary basis.

All authorized positions have been classified based on the initial understanding of the functions of these positions. The future staffing plan of WestWorld will also include the use of 20 part time temporary positions to be borrowed from Community Services.

These positions are summer lifeguard positions, which will be vacant during WestWorld’s in-season and therefore available for WestWorld to utilize. In addition the use of up to 20 contractual positions will be used to supplement on an as needed basis. This will allow the flexibility needed to meet the service demands during the busy in-season.

The recruitment positions were opened for both WestWorld employees and other City employees. The positions were filled based on those applicants who were best qualified. It made sense to achieve a balance between those originally at WestWorld and existing City employees. These positions were filled by the end of October 1997.

    • Community Service Workers. Various like type and competing facilities use community service workers to help reduce labor costs.

Recommendations are based on the following:

  • That WestWorld will be under City management and operation for the long-term foreseeable future
  • That the activities and events offered at WestWorld will continue to change and evolve in a significant way but will primarily evolve around a number of "signature events" including the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction, the All Arabian Horse Show, Sun Country Quarter Horse Show, and Thunderbird Balloon Classic. Further, that equestrian and western-related activities will continue to be a primary focus of WestWorld
  • That there will be significant changes and capital improvements to WestWorld facilities over the long term, which may have staffing implications for the future
  • That the appropriate staffing and organizational structure for WestWorld will need to be constantly re-examined and updated based on changes in programming, operations and facilities. Further, that staffing patterns will need to be flexible and adaptable to meet the evolving and seasonal nature of WestWorld events and programs

Appendix I includes WestWorld’s Organizational Chart and Staffing Graphs (In-Season & Off-Season)

Conclusions:

The future of WestWorld, the event calendar and attendance projections, as well as potential capital improvements, will significantly affect the staffing plan of WestWorld. We plan to continue our study of the future staffing pattern most appropriate for WestWorld. A viable Training Plan is a key component to the WestWorld Staffing Plan.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that:

  • An initial Training Plan for WestWorld staff be developed to include City-sponsored training and AGTS or similar training for those contractual positions which were moved into City employment. The Training Plan should also include supervisory training, computer training, accounting and purchasing training, policy training in Harassment-Free Work Place, Substance Abuse, etc. We will also include several of the WestWorld staff in a Super Supervisor course
  • Organizational Effectiveness complete a work management study to make a recommendation for WestWorld’s staffing needs in time for the off-budget year funding considerations
  • WestWorld utilize community service workers to augment its existing workforce

Programming

Background:

As part of the current review of WestWorld operations, the planning team has looked at the potential of developing and providing public activities and events that could supplement the main use of WestWorld as a rental facility.

Facts/Findings:

After reviewing current activities, focus group comments, and extensive discussions with City staff, there are some basic tenets that have been identified that will guide our recommendations related to potential programming for WestWorld:

  • Every effort should be made to accommodate the needs of the signature events at WestWorld.
  • Additional signature events and large equestrian shows and events should be recruited.
  • Local equestrian activities should be accommodated and facilities should be made accessible to the local equestrian user.
  • Hospitality industry will support events that have major economic impact in our community.
  • WestWorld should continue to have a western focus while being able to accommodate non-equestrian events.
  • WestWorld should strive to generate sufficient revenue to cover operating expenses.

In addition to the above tenets, these are existing realities that must be considered that will also impact programming decisions:

  • Existing scheduled events already utilize the major facilities at WestWorld from October through May.
  • Set-up and preparation for existing events preclude scheduling of additional major events during that time period.
  • The lead time necessary for WestWorld staff to plan and promote activities/events would require confirming dates at least six months in advance of the event. This would reduce the number of dates available to accommodate major equestrian rental activities that would be a priority for WestWorld.
  • WestWorld has no existing staff to plan, promote and coordinate activities and events.
  • Programs/events that Scottsdale Community Services Department could schedule at WestWorld facilities in the off-season (May-September) would not be a major revenue producer for WestWorld.
  • The type of programs that are currently in demand but cannot be accommodated at existing parks and recreational facilities could not be accommodated at WestWorld either due to location, available times or having appropriate facilities.
  • Existing food/beverage agreements at WestWorld reduce revenue potential for City run programs.
  • Additional and enhanced facilities would be needed to accommodate any new future programming during the season.
  • Existing activities and events are mainly rental events and are listed in the WestWorld calendar for review. They fall into the following categories:
  • Major signature events such as All-Arabian Horse Show, Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, Sun Country Quarter Horse Show and the Thunderbird Balloon Classic.
  • Large Equestrian Shows and Events.
  • Local Equestrian Shows/Activities and arena rentals.
  • Non-equestrian rentals such as meetings, festivals, weddings and pet shows.
  • Livery stable for riding lessons, group rides and hay wagon rides.

Other services are available, most of which accommodate the needs of the rental groups:

  • Horse Stall Rental
  • Roping chutes and boxes rental
  • Exhibit space rental
  • Portable ticket office rental
  • Short-term horse boarding
  • Feed and bedding sales
  • R.V. hook-up facility
  • Food and beverage service (concession agreement)

Conclusions:

The existing schedule, facilities and staffing at WestWorld preclude the development of new activities and events that would generate significant revenue or have a major economic impact for the community during the high season (October - April). Other rentals can be accommodated during weekdays and during the off-season (May - September) and programs through the Scottsdale Community Services Department can fill some low use times but will not have a major revenue impact for WestWorld.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that WestWorld:

  • Actively recruit additional signature events for the off-season.
  • Recruit additional equestrian shows and activities for the off-season.
  • Recruit additional non-equestrian events such as dog shows, company picnics, outdoor recreation shows that could co-exist during other scheduled events or fill the off-season facilities.
  • Enhance access to arenas and trails for drop-in public use.
  • Let the private sector market determine the feasibility of boarding stables on lands adjoining WestWorld.
  • Work with Scottsdale Community Services staff to schedule some of their existing programs during weekdays and nights during the high season that could co-exist with WestWorld scheduled rentals. Also more extensively schedule activities during the off-season where facilities and weather would allow. Activities would provide more local exposure for WestWorld, generate some basic revenues and could include the following:
  • Line Dance Lessons
  • Children’s Birthday Parties
  • Desert Survival Classes
  • Landscape Painting
  • Family Hikes, Overnights, Cookouts
  • Children’s Western Summer Camp
  • Western Jazz Concerts (local)

Future activity and event opportunities would be dependent on enhanced amenities and additional facilities as outlined in other sections of this report but would respond to the major tenets outlined at the beginning of this section.

Marketing

Background:

Since the City has assumed management responsibility of WestWorld operations, the marketing program for the facility has not been closely evaluated. In the various benchmarking activities, including the site visit process, there are a number of opportunities to improve the information on WestWorld, the available facilities and opportunities for use.

Facts/Findings:

The majority of like facilities surveyed utilized the Internet as a major information resource. The Internet provides easy, quick access to information on WestWorld for international, national and local interest. There is also the ability to connect to related Internet sites regarding signature events, topics of interest and potential new venues.

The Internet provides unlimited opportunity for communication and dissemination of WestWorld information.

It was also found in the research that strong relationships with the Chamber of Commerce and the hospitality industry were focal points of a facilities marketing approach. There are a number of vehicles to get information to the stakeholders regarding WestWorld. One concept the Chamber uses frequently is the Familiarization Tour (FamTour). This approach takes the hospitality industry on an actual tour of WestWorld and provides people the chance to experience what the facility has to offer. There are also approaches regarding updated written material, videos, cable television, etc. that provide additional exposure for the facility.

Recommendations:

With the City taking the leadership role, develop an updated marketing plan for WestWorld with consultation with the Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Commission, and other stakeholders to insure that the City is utilizing all available resources for marketing and public information for the site.

Appendix A - Community WestWorld Discussions, A summary document

April 17, 1997

Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the comments and reactions of community members representing the hospitality industry, the equestrian industry, nearby landowners, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other identified stakeholders of WestWorld, at six different small group meetings.

Each meeting lasted two hours, and was intended to allow participants to express their opinions and thoughts about WestWorld in the broadest possible context. Each meeting began with the same agenda, which asked the following:

  • What do you consider to be the strengths of the WestWorld property?
  • What do you consider to be the challenges and key issues facing the WestWorld property?
  • If this was the year 2000, and WestWorld was as successful as you could imagine, how would you describe it?
  • What do you think the City should pay particular attention to in the next year?

The following summary is intended to capture the essence of what emerged as a consensus across groups and participants. It is by no means inclusive of all comments, and individual meeting notes are available for additional detail.

  • WestWorld Strengths:
  • Location—WestWorld is in the geographic center of the city, adjacent to the gateway to the McDowells.
  • City ownership—provides perceived flexibility in budgeting and service options. Specifically, community participants observed that the City may be more inclined than private sector ownership to view WestWorld’s economic contributions to the community as important.
  • Size—WestWorld is large enough to accommodate a wide variety of events and shows.
  • WestWorld challenges and key issues:
  • Fee Policy—observations that:
    • fees may not be affordable for the smaller equestrian shows.
    • fees do not presently provide special incentives for youth events—specifically the 4-H club.
    • there is some perception that fee policies have been inconsistently applied, and there is favoritism for some events over others.
    • All fees and costs should be known by events "up front"—WestWorld has a history of "surprise" costs during and after the event.
  • Concessionaire policy—the BOR is only months away from finalizing a concessionaire policy, and encourages WestWorld to develop its own policy.
  • Demand—WestWorld may experience an increasing demand for event space, and should develop policies and procedures to ensure that it can choose those events that enhance its image and identity.
  • Parking—WestWorld needs to secure additional parking for its future.

WestWorld identity & vision:

  • WestWorld needs to establish a clear identity—a theme.
  • WestWorld should become a Community Equestrian Center, and serve as "the seat and home of those elements that give us what is unique to Scottsdale’s heritage".
  • WestWorld should enhance Scottsdale’s image as "the West’s Most Western Town".
  • WestWorld should provide a "user-friendly" equestrian environment.

WestWorld development considerations:

  • There is an increasing demand for permanent boarding stables, and a decreasing supply as existing stables are closed for other uses. Can WestWorld help service this need? It is imperative for Scottsdale’s future and WestWorld’s identity as a Community Equestrian Center.
  • There is a need to ensure that WestWorld planning integrates with the planning for adjacent private lands immediately North, which is currently in process.
  • More permanent barns/horse stalls.
  • Enclose/climatize the Equidome.
  • Provide additional public seating, for 10-12,000, to attract larger national shows. Add skyboxes.
  • Cover a second arena.
  • Better trailhead(s), with better access.
  • A permanent exhibit hall.
  • The City should pay particular attention to:
  • Access to pristine hiking and riding trails from WestWorld into the McDowells.
  • Don’t trivialize the Western venue.
  • The name "WestWorld" may carry historical baggage, and the City should consider renaming it to emphasize WestWorld’s new, user-friendly nature.
  • WestWorld planning should be integrated with Scottsdale 2020 thinking.
  • Patience—have the vision to create something for the next 100 years.
  • Planning—facility plans and fee schedules need to be known well in advance to allow for future events to plan.

Appendix B - WestWorld Vision, A Planning Charette

Background. The WestWorld Planning Team utilized in-house expertise to develop two different vision themes, which were then merged into the third, "hybrid" vision that represented the consensus of both the community discussion groups and the WestWorld Planning Team.

The intent in creating different vision themes is to "push" each vision to its extremes, and to capture those elements that make sense and seem to fit into the WestWorld emerging character and design. The two, initial themes were:

  • Heritage Preservation. This theme sought to preserve what is unique to Scottsdale’s heritage - its western and equestrian focus. This vision theme included:
  • elements that represent our western heritage
  • focus on equestrian venues
  • riding trails
  • a pedestrian scale, including shade, walking and riding paths, ramadas and picnic tables

Large Event Theme. This theme recognized the importance of WestWorld as a venue to attract major events, and included:

  • maximum flexibility for the WestWorld facility
  • permanent exhibit halls
  • extensive parking
  • a "climatized" Equidome

Strategic Plan Recommendations:

The WestWorld planning team recommends the following Strategic Plan - Vision, Mission, Critical Objectives and Strategies:

  • Vision - WestWorld is a premier, nationally recognized, user friendly equestrian center and special event facility serving our community and target market visitors.
  • Mission - WestWorld of Scottsdale is dedicated to providing public recreational opportunities and a venue for entertainment activities with an emphasis on equestrian and western theme events to citizens and target market visitors. WestWorld will enhance Scottsdale’s image as the West’s Most Western Town. WestWorld will offer equal public access and excellent customer service.

Critical Objectives and Strategies further detail how WestWorld can apply its human resources and financial resources to accomplish its vision and mission. There are four categories for WestWorld’s critical objectives and strategies.

  • Address Operational and Facility Needs and Opportunities
  • Establish a Foundation On Which To Build
  • Capital Enhancement Opportunities
  • Build Out Opportunities
  • Address Operational and Facility Needs and Opportunities.

The period of time from the City’s purchase of WestWorld to date represents a great learning period. During this time we have gained greater insights into WestWorld’s operational and facility needs, some of which were not known and/or quantified, even as the 1997-99 biennial budget was developed. Some of these needs may be met within the existing biennial budget. Other needs may require additional funding or may have to be deferred.

We also now have the benefit of having researched like type and competing facilities, including site visits to several facilities. This experience and learning has helped us identify new opportunities.

The critical objectives and strategies in support of address operational and facility needs and opportunities are:

  • Address WestWorld's facility, equipment, safety, and staffing needs to provide a sound operating basis for its future success, by June 1999.
  • Address facility maintenance needs
  • Pursue sponsorships and secure funding
  • Develop and implement a "friends" support group
  • Address equipment needs not secured through sponsorships, friends or other means
  • Perform a work management study
  • Seek supplemental labor pool (i.e., community service workers)
  • Install technology network infrastructure
  • Examine WestWorld's operational efficiency and effectiveness, by June 1999.
  • Develop reservation policies and targeted marketing plan to attract venues that support the WestWorld vision
  • Perform a rate and fee analysis
  • Examine feed and shavings operations
  • Develop a manure disposal plan
  • Develop a monthly reporting system (i.e., Reno)
  • Quantify the economic impact of WestWorld (by event) to the City
  • Establish a Foundation On Which To Build.

This category relates to WestWorld continuing to operate and meet the current programmed obligations, but improves the facility to meet community equestrian and visitor needs. This part of the strategic plan is essential in order for WestWorld to establish a foundation for the future and serve as a community center piece.

Accomplishing either or both of the critical objectives below serves to create a more flexible facility. Flexible refers to WestWorld’s ability to host a multitude of different types of events. Flexible also refers to the number of events WestWorld can host, which is related to the speed in turn around (set up and tear down) time for the next event.

The critical objectives and supporting strategies in support of establishing a foundation to build upon are:

    • Create a more user friendly facility that provides year-round, open public access and recreation opportunities for community equestrian users and visitors.
    • Develop a combination trailhead and public recreation area east of Brett’s Barn. This would include a minimum of two lighted arenas, a combination meeting room and snack bar (with rest rooms), parking lot and concession. Access would be via Thompson Peak Parkway.
    • Relocate the existing Livery Operation to an area adjacent to the new trailhead.
    • Integrate trailhead, bike paths and horse trails systems, and the desert greenbelt in the WestWorld facility to provide a link to the gateway to the McDowell Mountains (Desert Discovery Center)
    • Update infrastructure master plan
    • Address immediate special event needs.
    • Bury existing utility pedestals, repair and resurface existing surfaces areas, improve drainage and add asphalt where appropriate.
    • Evaluate what types of surrounding land uses would be compatible with WestWorld operations
    • Consider incorporating compatible land uses into an area specific plan
    • Look for opportunities to create natural buffering

Capital Enhancement Opportunities.

This category captures the opportunities identified from site visits, research and community input to take the facility to another programming level and further develop the facility’s flexibility and attractiveness.

The critical objective and supporting strategies in support of capital enhancement opportunities are:

    • Expand weekday uses, the shoulder season and further enhance this venue’s ability to draw new major events and new programming activity.
    • Construct an exhibit hall north of the Equidome. This would eliminate the exhibit tents, which in turn decreases turn around time (no construction or removal of exhibit tents)
    • Remodel Equidome, Phase I, which includes concreting dirt exhibit areas, installing folding bleachers on north side and upgrading existing rest room facilities, construct permanent show office
    • Construct a large event public rest room complex with an RV utility area adjacent to the polo field
    • Install four to six ramada style roof structures on the field south of the Equidome and purchase portable stall units to replace temporary stalls and provide additional covered exhibit area
    • Cover arena #4 to allow for weather proofing of multiple events
    • Develop and implement a landscaping plan

Build Out Opportunities.

This category represents what WestWorld might do to meet maximum facility demands. Proceeding into this category would most likely occur only after the previous success of "Establishing a Foundation to Build Upon" and "Capital Enhancement Opportunities". It expands on the Capital Enhancement Opportunities.

The critical objective and supporting strategies in support of build out opportunities are:

    • Expands weekday uses, the shoulder season and further enhance this venue’s ability to draw new major events and new programming activity.
    • Construct three new permanent barns
    • Install 100 new RV locations adjacent to large event rest room facility
    • Asphalt pathways in all permanent barns
    • Cover arena #3 to further weather proof for multiple events
    • Remodel Equidome, Phase II, which includes add weather doors, evaporative coolers, heating system, and PA system and folding bleachers south side

Financial Impact of the Strategic Plan Recommendations.

It is recommended that the following actions be taken.

  • Facility Repairs and Improvements:
  • WestWorld request $265,900 in the current off year operating budget process for facility repairs and improvements
  • WestWorld request the necessary funds in future operating budget years for a sound facility maintenance program
  • Vehicles and Equipment:
  • WestWorld request $192,000 in the current off year operating budget process to fund the recommended fleet management plan
  • WestWorld continue to seek support through sponsorships and "friends" programs to help meet vehicle and equipment needs

Telecommunications:

  • WestWorld request $110,000 in the upcoming off year capital budget process to meet its telecommunications needs

Capital Projects:

  • City Council approve $100,000 in capital contingency funds (current balance is approximately $1 million) to supplement the $150,000 being made available by the Tourism Development Commission for the design phase of "Foundation on Which to Build" capital projects
  • WestWorld request $2,250,000 in the upcoming off year capital improvement program budget process to construct the "Foundation on Which to Build" capital projects
  • WestWorld further examine potential funding partnerships and/or options for funding capital projects as follows:
  • Tourism Development Commission funds for "Foundation On Which To Build"
  • The use of MPC bonds with a dedicated revenue source (e.g., cost avoidance for tent rentals for signature events to partially fund the construction of a north exhibit hall)
  • Consider a privately funded construction and management of an exhibit hall, where WestWorld would get a percentage of gross receipts

Risk Management:

  • WestWorld should continue to work with the City’s Risk Management division to bring its safety measures up to VPP standards.
  • It is recommended that WestWorld staff attend mandatory safety training, which is available with Community Maintenance and Recreation.

Master Plan Update Recommendation.

It is recommended that the WestWorld Master Plan on file with the BOR be updated to reflect any approved capital improvements as outlined in the strategic plan of this report.

In addition, a facility analysis should take place in conjunction with design of new facilities, and include the following:

  • Infrastructure (design and capacity):
  • Circulation
  • Water & sewer capacity
  • Drainage & grading
  • Utilities
  • Facility Improvements:
  • Buildings
  • Outdoor facilities
  • Parking/service areas
  • Thematic Character:
  • Architecture
  • Landscaping
  • Pedestrian scale
  • Buffering opportunities

Accounting Methods - General Fund versus Enterprise Fund Accounting Recommendation.

It is recommended that WestWorld use the general fund method to account for its operations under its current organizational structure.

Financial Structure for Fund Raising Recommendations.

It is recommended that:

  • WestWorld coordinate with the City’s Accounting department to establish a trust fund.
  • WestWorld coordinate with the City’s Endowment Officer to establish an endowment fund within the City’s Affiliate Community Foundation umbrella.
  • WestWorld explore opportunities to establish sponsorships with private companies to help support WestWorld.
  • WestWorld consider a community based support group (e.g., Friends of the Park) and similar programs to promote the visibility of, and raise capital for, WestWorld.

Organizational Structures Recommendations.

The Accounting Methods section of this report recommends that WestWorld use the general fund method to account for its operations under its current organizational structure.

It is also recommended that WestWorld reexamine the feasibility of an enterprise fund subsequent to the retirement of its debt and when further development of golf course facilities in the flood control properties offer additional revenue opportunities.

Staffing Models Recommendations.

It is recommended that:

  • An initial Training Plan for WestWorld staff be developed to include City-sponsored training and AGTS or similar training for those contractual positions who were moved in to City employment. The Training Plan should also include supervisory training, computer training, accounting and purchasing training, policy training in Harassment-Free Work Place, Substance Abuse, etc. We will also include several of the WestWorld staff in a Super Supervisor course.
  • Organizational Effectiveness complete a work management study to make a recommendation for WestWorld’s staffing needs in time for the off-budget year funding considerations.
  • WestWorld utilize community service workers to augment its existing workforce.
  • Programming Recommendations. It is recommended that WestWorld:
  • Actively recruit additional signature events for the off-season.
  • Recruit additional equestrian shows and activities for the off-season.
  • Recruit additional non-equestrian events such as dog shows, company picnics, outdoor recreation shows that could co-exist during other scheduled events or fill the off-season facilities.
  • Enhance access to arenas and trails for drop-in public use.
  • Let the private sector market determine the feasibility of boarding stables on lands adjoining WestWorld.
  • Work with Scottsdale Community Services staff to schedule some of their existing programs during weekdays and nights during the high season that could co-exist with WestWorld scheduled rentals. Also more extensively schedule activities during the off-season where facilities and weather would allow. Activities would provide more local exposure for WestWorld, generate some basic revenues and could include the following:
  • Line Dance Lessons
  • Children’s Birthday Parties
  • Desert Survival Classes
  • Landscape Painting
  • Family Hikes, Overnights, Cookouts
  • Children’s Western Summer Camp
  • Western Jazz Concerts (local)

Future activity and event opportunities would be dependent on enhanced amenities and additional facilities as outlined in other sections of this report but would respond to the major tenets outlined at the beginning of this section.

Marketing Recommendations.

With the City taking the leadership role, develop an updated marketing plan for WestWorld with consultation with the Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Commission, and other stakeholders to insure that the City is utilizing all available resources for marketing and public information for the site.