Update from the Directors June 2020
Hello from Vitek and Lori-
A big thank you to all who have been buying our food and supplies!
Our plans continue to evolve in response to the Covid situation. GCA is a place built for people to gather whether for food, drink, to create things, see live music or experience other cultural events. In the last 8 years we have created a hub in downtown Holyoke and have brought thousands of newcomers here. It has been said that Gateway “is the beating heart of the downtown.” Vitek and I take enormous pride in what we and our staff created. We have had tremendous feedback from the community, press, musicians and culture lovers and we thank you all for your loyal support. We are NOT closing our doors permanently, BUT without being able to congregate safely, we have no choice but to go into hibernation until that changes. We have decided that in order to survive in the long run we need to close now and get ready for a busy future. We plan to use this time to fix all the little building issues that we haven’t had time to address and upgrade certain areas. We will also use this time to re-imagine the next phase of Gateway City Arts. Our hope is our fun, nutty and terrific staff will return to pick up where we left off.
SO- DO NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR DANCING SHOES! I REPEAT- DO NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR DANCING SHOES!
The plan is to be back ASAP and once we can reopen Judd’s, the Bistro and have live music, we will be busier than ever.
As you know it is impossible to plan with any confidence until there is more information.
We will be starting our hibernation on July 3 and will reevaluate in the fall. Our reopening will depend on the state of testing, a vaccine, the indoor gathering possibilities and who knows what else by then. We feel strongly that it is not worth opening if there is any risk to our staff or community. Because of the distancing requirements, the beer garden is just not big enough to open in a financially responsible way.
IF YOU HAVE GIFT CARDS FOR JUDD’S OR THE BISTRO PLEASE USE THEM NOW. WE HAVE LOTS OF FOOD READY TO GO AND YOU CAN STOCK UP!
This was a difficult decision for us and our amazing staff. It is not how we envisioned this time. Because we are a multifunctional venue with a restaurant, food and alcohol offerings, a “nightclub classification” for building codes with touring bands and live music, to stay open to the public we are required to maintain a multitude of costly permits, licenses, different kinds of insurances and general overhead. This costs thousand of dollars a month just to be able to open our doors. We are trying to reduce our costs to a bare minimum but even that requires a hefty monthly output. To help in this we are in the process of creating a GoFundMe campaign. We know this isn’t “sexy” giving- but for us it is survival giving. IF we are going to be able to reopen to serve the Valley, we need help. The good news is once this is behind us, we will be booking lots of concerts and events. But we can use your help in covering our expenses for the next few months. We hope to have the campaign on our website and social media in the next couple of weeks.
This was not the news WE imagined for the beginning of summer but it is where we are. We deeply appreciate all the support you have shown us and thank you for the last 8 years. After this pause we will return better and bigger than before!
We will be in touch soon with more information.
Lori and Vitek