So over the past year, I have been focussed on designing, building and now operating the new Zeus Digital Theater in Waynesboro. This has been a very interesting, exhausting, stimulating, challenging and rewarding year.
Over the past year, I have pretty much worked every day 10-18 hours. I have learned a great deal and hopefully implemented those insights into running the theater.
Of course, the financing was tough from the beginning. Trying to finance a huge project like this during the worst economic downturn in the past 80 years was tough. I was able to pull it off by building on that "loyalty banking" I have written about before. Banks don't lend money to projects, they lend to people. Your reputation for success will either hurt or help you in this endeavor. I like to think that my past performance helped, but also my past loyalty toward my banker played a part.
The construction phase was fantastic. Yes, there were challenges and setbacks, but we brought the project in close to budget and on time. Jon Sweringen was great to work with as the GC. I have to admit, building this huge theater was alot of fun.
Since opening on October 8th, I have been putting together processes, systems and controls to make sure my vision actually exists. I can't say it has been easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.
I am still a little new to the complainers. Most guests are fantastic, but there are just a few that ruin my day. For these people, I have a hard time not reverting to my old Marine days. I will say that generally, people are reasonable and polite. We won't get everything perfect and they understand. Those that complain the loudest usually have never done anything difficult in their lives, but expect perfection in others.
So here we are, 8 weeks after opening the new theater. I am still working to tighten up my staff and what they do from hour to hour. However, I am very pleased with the project and the business. Waynesboro and the surrounding communities have been very welcoming. I am now waiting for a restaurant to go in front of the theater, which will make the site a real entertainment destination.