This blog originally ran April 4, 2012. I still haven’t won the lottery but I’d still do the same things with the money.
Super-Mega Music Wizard
Ok, I didn’t win $300 million on Saturday. I had big plans for that money. Of course, the odds of winning were about the same as becoming an all-powerful wizard. So while I keep rubbing that lamp, here’s what I would have done with the money.
I would buy one of the unused warehouses or factories in Lancaster and turn it into a grand music venue: maybe 800-1,200 seats. The demand exists and major touring artists pass us by every day. Why should Lancaster be the only town around here without one?
I also would buy The Chameleon Club and Lancaster Dispensing Company. I love them and wish they were mine. I don’t envision a lot of changes. Although, I would install a state-of-the-art sound system in DipCo and I would offer Rich Ruoff a fortune to oversee the music in both. Of course, the restaurant and nightclub businesses are money pits with no guarantee of return. If that weren’t true, I would have bought The Blue Star years ago.
I also would convince Clipper Stadium to start staging concerts again in the summer. Outdoor concerts are special and money talks. I saw Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson at The Clip! Do you remember the crowd for Bryan Adams? I could even afford to buy a weekend getaway for all the neighbors who complain about the noise.
I would provide shuttle busses to/from Long’s Park for the Summer Sunday Concerts. We could do pick-ups at every Weis grocery in the county and at the downtown bus terminal. I love the shows but parking is a drag.
Speaking of buses, we need public transportation to/from the city after 6pm. Even one bus on each major “pike” leaving Lancaster at 10pm could be a boon to downtown businesses, especially on First Fridays and Music Fridays. It would ease traffic congestion and appeal to non-drivers and imbibers. How many more meals could be served and artworks sold? How many more people could enjoy the conviviality of these awesome evenings and see that downtown is not so scary? I could subsidize those buses. Maybe public transportation could get a bounce from it. After living in Europe for 19 months, I realized what a shame it is that America turned its back on buses and trains.
I would create scholarships directly linked to community building and the arts. We need our colleges to play a larger role in the shape and flavor of events in Lancaster. F&M, Millersville, PCAD, Stevens, HACC and YTI all bring energized, curious young people downtown. Let’s give them a greater voice and see what kind of richness they envision for our fair town.
I would throw a ton of money at charities. My favorites in town are Music For Everyone, Water Street Rescue Mission, and Milagro House. They say that once you get wealth, people come out of the woodwork with open palms. I’m just dreaming here, but maybe you’ll dream with me. What would you have me do with the money? What would you do with it? Maybe if we team up, we can create community wealth and magic without becoming millionaires or wizards.