City hopes to allow alcohol sales at Auld Pavilion

By: Megan Palera

The city wants to increase rentals at the Auld Pavilion by allowing alcohol to be served, but Lincoln businesses argue the government shouldn't be competing with tax payers.

Welcome to the Holiday Inn Ballroom, a premiere wedding destination in Lincoln. “Every weekend is one, two up to four wedding receptions here,” said General Manager at the Holiday Inn Downtown, Troy Terwilliger.

It's a large part of the hotel's business, but Terwilliger worries it could be in trouble soon. “There is a lot of competition out here right now, mostly in the private sector. When the city becomes involved and starts to serve alcohol and is able to cater to that clientele, it really makes it challenging for us,” he said.

The Parks and Rec Department is looking into serving alcohol at the Auld Pavilion in Antelope Park. They hope it will increase rentals, generating money to help repair and maintain the outdated building. The goal is to find a private company that the city can partner with.

“Hopefully, if somebody has already established that type of business in the community, this would give them an opportunity to potentially expand the number of locations,” said Parks and Rec Director, Lynn Johnson.

But City Council Member, Jon Camp, who also owns a reception hall, says it will hurt Lincoln businesses. “If we expect businesses to pay taxes, provide their parking, do a host of elements, why should the government be involved in direct competition,” said Camp.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the issue Monday at 3 County/City building.