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.


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

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

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


27 Chicago, 6:30 p.m.


10 Los Aguilar, 8 p.m.


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


2 Parker McCollum, 7 p.m.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive,

The Woodlands


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.


Outside of the Alan B. Sadler Commissioner's Courthouse in Conroe
Montgomery County commissioners vote on proposed tax rate, set date for public hearing on FY 2021-22 budget

A public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20 to adopt the final budget and tax rate for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The location is expected to open in the fall. (Courtesy Freebirds World Burrito)
Freebirds coming soon to Riley Fuzzel Road

The new Freebirds location is expected to open in the fall.

Chef Chan's will be replacing Spicy Cuisine. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
Original family reopens Chef Chan's in Indian Springs

Chef Chan's The Original is owned and operated by the family that opened Chef Chan's in 1982 on Kuykendahl Road.

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

The Woodlands Township board of directors decided against allowing e-bikes on township pathways July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
E-bikes will not be permitted on The Woodlands Township pathways, board decides

The township order prohibiting motorized vehicles on its pathway system will stand.

Monique Sharp, The Woodlands Township's assistant general manager for finance and administration, presented fisca year 2022 budget updates at a July 28 meeting. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
Preliminary 2022 budget in The Woodlands projects higher revenues, lower expenditures

Budget workshops will be held beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day Aug. 16-18 with an expected vote on a proposed tax rate at the Aug. 19 meeting.

The LifeTime Fitness complex is seeing redesigns before development starts back up in November. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
LifeTime Fitness redesign presented to Shenandoah City Council

The redesign will see the removal of a tennis court over the development's parking garage as a cost-cutting measure due to the pandemic.

Main Chick Hot Chicken opened its first brick-and-mortar location July 23 in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Main Chick Hot Chicken)
Main Chick Hot Chicken opens in Sugar Land; Urban Bird Hot Chicken coming to Cy-Fair and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news for the Houston area, including two new chicken restaurants.

Tomball ISD will offer free meals to all student this upcoming academic year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Tomball ISD to offer free meals for all students in 2021-22

Households will not need to apply for the Free and Reduced-price Meal program to be eligible.

The restaurant serves American favorites as well as a brunch menu. (Courtesy Federal American Grill)
Federal American Grill coming to Oak Ridge North in 2022

Federal American Grill is opening in The Woodlands in spring 2022.

Houston-area residents will be able to apply online for a one-time payment of $1,500 from July 28-Aug. 11. (File photo)
$30M COVID Relief Fund opens for Harris County residents as eviction moratorium ends

Sourced by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible residents will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 to support urgent needs.

Exterior of Alan B. Sadler Commissioners Court building
Montgomery County officials discuss employee raises on first day of budget workshops

Montgomery County commissioners debated the possibility of a 5% raise in salaries across the board as a priority for the 2021-22 fiscal year budget.