MPEC ushering in new changes under city management

Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 6:45 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - MPEC facilities are back under the management of the City of Wichita Falls. This comes after they chose not to renew their contract with Spectra Venue Management last July.

READ: City of Wichita Falls to not renew MPEC contract with Spectra

“First and foremost, we have a renewed focus on customer service,” Lindsay Barker, the new MPEC director, said. ”We want to make sure that all of our guests who come into these events have a really good experience.”

This will be the first time in over five years that the city is running these facilities. Now that the MPEC and Convention and Visitors Bureau are under the same city umbrella, it has allowed those two departments to share staff and resources.

“It’s just an easier process because we are all on the same page and we all have the same goal,” Durleen Vanwinkle, senior sales manager for the MPEC and CVB, said.

Now that city staff has had time to settle in, they can work on changes they’d like to see. One of the two big priorities now is facility improvements.

“Here in (The) Kay Yeager (Coliseum), we are actually looking at a new sound system. I know that is a big issue that people, you know, we have heard complaints about for a long time,” Barker said.

The other priority is lowering the amount of money the MPEC uses out of the city’s general fund. To do that, they want to only operate with money collected through the hotel occupancy tax. This is money collected every time a room is rented in Wichita Falls.

“As long as we can limit that subsidy, lower it, get back within that HOT fund, that’s the goal from a financial standpoint,” Barker said.

The hotel and convention center, currently under construction just feet away from the Kay Yeager Coliseum, will help with that in more ways than one.

“We’re hoping with that hotel right here we’ll be able to partner with them, attract large events, we’ll be able to utilize multiple facilities at the same time and it’s really going to be beneficial for everybody,” Barker said.

One thing staff at the MPEC said people should keep a close eye on is where they are purchasing tickets. Barker said scalpers sell tickets at a higher price. The best place to purchase your is through the MPEC website.

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