Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion moves toward reopening as coronavirus restrictions ease


The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion plans to reopen for shows beginning this summer.
(Courtesy Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion plans to reopen for shows beginning this summer. (Courtesy Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion plans to reopen for shows beginning this summer. (Courtesy Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion was one of the first venues in The Woodlands area to cancel events in 2020 as the COVID-19 shutdown began last March, but as of this spring its schedule is beginning to populate with shows into the fall, and Pavilion President and CEO Jerry MacDonald said he hopes to see the venue host a full season going into 2022.

Despite a year with essentially no revenue, the Pavilion has been able to keep its full-time employees on staff and did not conduct any furloughs, he said. It was able to leverage a rainy day fund alongside funds from federal Payment Protection Program loans, which covered five months of salaries, he said. The Pavilion has 30 full-time employees on its staff, but an additional 300 are hired for seasonal employment during the concert season.

The Pavilion was among the businesses in The Woodlands area to receive between $350,000 and $1 million in funding from the PPP in July, which was rolled out as a loan that could be forgiven to help organizations pay their employees.

“We kept busy and worked on things around the facility. ... It’s a 13-acre plan you can’t just walk away from; it still takes a number of people to maintain the systems here and keep things operating,” he said.

The venue has hosted several events this year, such as a symphony concert May 2, and it plans to host high school graduations for Conroe ISD in late May. The venue follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in requiring masks for employees and screening them before they enter. Additional cleaning is conducted, and personal protective equipment is provided, he said.


The venue has also implemented a no-bag policy, aside from diaper bags and those that are medically necessary, according to Pavilion policies.

Another project thwarted by the pandemic was a plan to pursue a performing arts center next to the Pavilion. The Woodlands Township’s board of directors had approved looking into the viability of a new cultural center in early 2020, but in July it put those plans on hold at the request of the Pavilion.

“We put that on hold because the pandemic had shut everything down and we didn’t have the funding, but once our events start coming back and we know we’re back online and generating revenue, we will meet with the township and start that program again,” MacDonald said.

The Pavilion’s closure has also affected the township’s finances. In the March 31 financial report presented to The Woodlands Township board of directors, Monique Sharp, assistant general manager for finance and administration, said revenues for the year to date were down $259,000 mainly because of a lack of events admission tax revenue due to the Pavilion being closed.

MacDonald said he feels the live events will resume their usual operating schedule as more people get vaccinations and their comfort levels increase in public.

“Things are looking a lot brighter, and with every week that goes by, there is more clarity to what we can do and where our season is headed,” MacDonald said.

(Editor's note: The times for the Conroe ISD graduations initially appeared incorrectly. The correct times are given below.)

Upcoming events

This list is not comprehensive and previously scheduled events are subject to change.

May

16 The Pavilion Partners wine dinner and auction, 5 p.m.

www.woodlandscenter.org/wine-dinner

20-22, 24-26 Conroe ISD high school graduation ceremonies, 7:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. May 22)

www.conroeisd.net

29-30 “Boni’s Dance Presents: A Tribute to Broadway,” 6 p.m.

June

27 Chicago, 6:30 p.m.

July

10 Los Aguilar, 8 p.m.

September

4 Buzzfest featuring The Offspring, 2:40 p.m.

October

2 Parker McCollum, 7 p.m.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive,

The Woodlands

281-364-3010

www.woodlandscenter.org

By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


MOST RECENT

Texas Central has signed a $16 billion contract with Webuild to lead the civil construction team that will build the train. (Rendering courtesy Texas Central)
Texas Central signs $16B construction contract for high-speed rail project

Texas Central could be one step closer to starting construction.

Medical professionals said patients have been delaying routine care and screenings since 2020. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Experts stress value of routine checkups skipped amid COVID-19

Many patients delayed their routine checkups and screenings since 2020.

Russ Poppe, the Harris County Flood Control District executive director, will officially step down July 2 after nearly fifteen years in the position. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Executive Director Russ Poppe announces resignation from Harris County Flood Control District

Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director Russ Poppe announced his resignation June 11.

(Courtesy Growing Together Early Learning Center)
Growing Together Early Learning Center in The Woodlands closes

According to the business's Facebook, the day care had been in the area for 17 years.

Bulls & Bellows is a veteran-owned business offering craft barbecue and side dishes made from family recipes. (Courtesy Bulls & Bellows BBQ)
Bulls & Bellows BBQ brings family recipes to Magnolia

Bulls & Bellows is a veteran-owned business offering craft barbecue and side dishes made from family recipes.

(Courtesy The Blue Fish)
The Blue Fish reopens at Hughes Landing

The sushi restaurant reopened June 13.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.

League City's Helen Hall Library History Club hosted an event related to Juneteenth on June 7. The holiday honors Union Gen. Gordon Granger coming to Galveston in 1865 to announce the liberation of enslaved people in Texas. (Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Celebrate Juneteenth in Galveston with a movie screening, parade and more on June 17, 19

The Juneteenth Legacy Project, which aims to recontextualize the day and properly communicate its story and relevance, is hosting or advertising numerous events over the course of the holiday weekend.

Missouri City resident Jackie Ward became the chief nursing officer at Texas Children’s Hospital in January. (Photo by Michael Carr Photography, graphic by Chase Brooks/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Jackie Ward, Texas Children's Hospital chief nursing officer, discusses career, nursing during COVID-19

Prior to becoming chief nursing officer, Missouri City resident Jackie Ward worked as an oncology nurse and in a variety of leadership roles at Texas Children's Hospital.

The Montgomery County Animal Shelter took in over 660 animals since June 1. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County Animal Shelter at 'critical capacity point'

The shelter is waiving adoption fees, and all adoptable pets have been vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped and spayed or neutered.

Bailey Rae, performing at Dosey Doe Big Barn on June 19, was nominated for several awards in 2020. (Courtesy Bailey Rae)
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Rock the Row: Where to see live music in The Woodlands area this June and July

Here are some recent concert announcements for venues around The Woodlands area, including the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

The Firework Extravaganza will begin at 9:30 p.m. July 4 (Courtesy The Woodlands Township)
Celebrate dad, see Fourth of July fireworks: 12 things to do in The Woodlands area this June and July

Events in The Woodlands area in June and July include celebrations for Father's Day and the Fourth of July.