Hosting entertainment in Brookings just got a little less expensive.
The city council agreed Monday night to lower its cost to rent the Capella by the Sea at Azalea Park for nonprofits that bring music or other theatrical performances to town.
"The Capella is quickly becoming like those nice sets of hand towels the guests don't want to touch," said Councilor Jake Pieper. "I'd like to see it used more."
Currently, the city charges $101 an hour, with a two-hour minimum, for use of the glass and steel-beamed building tucked into the trees at the south end of the park. Renters are required to pay a deposit and show proof of insurance, as well.
Those fees will remain in place for private events.
Fees for nonprofits using the Capella will now be $25 per hour with a two-hour minimum; they still must provide a deposit and proof of insurance.
The issue was raised in September when Stagelights' board member Scott Graves asked city officials if they could lower the rental costs permanently after the nonprofit group paid $50 to host a community concert there featuring Grammy-award winning guitarist Bill Mize in August.
The lower fee will enable Stagelights, a music-based outreach and education group, and similar organizations to keep ticket prices low. As it is, it can be difficult to attract quality touring musicians to such a remote location and pay them a fair market rate, Graves said.