As Radnor Township collects proposals from companies and organizations about the future of the Willows mansion, Radnor Patch is bringing you information from some of those who are vying for the project.
Larry Ott, manager for Open Aire Affairs event planning company, said that they "have been talking to Radnor Township for years" about making the Willows mansion an Open Aire Affairs location.
The company plans events at eight locations across the region, including the Pearl S. Buck Estate in Bucks County and Smith’s Playhouse in Fairmount Park. Some locations are privately owned, other are owned by the state and some are run by nonprofits, he said.
In their proposal, Open Aire Affairs would erect a three-season tent off of the back patio of the mansion, advertise, book and manage the events taking place there. For each event sold, the township would receive a certain fee that the event planners would collect for them. All the township would have to do under their plan is "cash the checks that we bring them," Ott said.
He added that they would also leave the property available to civic groups, and that the township could get one of the packages they sell to consumers for free a few times of year for its own use.
Instead of trying to come up with capital or use taxpayer money, Ott suggests that Radnor use proceeds from the fees they would get to fund the needed upgrades inside the mansion. "Our real goal is to use the house as little as possible so no more wear and tear can take place, and as income comes in upgrade and maintain the house," he said.
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