Annual Meeting Set to Energize Investors to Continue Dreaming

Annual Meeting Set to Energize Investors to Continue Dreaming Main Photo

23 Mar 2022

“If We Build It, They Will Come. Place of Our Dreams.”

That is the theme for the Phelps County Development Corporation’s annual meeting on Thursday, March 31, at the newly remodeled Holdrege Sun Theater & Event venue.

PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said the theme builds upon the same theme of PCDC’s community celebration last fall that centered on placemaking, ensuring that our community is welcoming and that it is creating a place for everyone at the table.

He cited a recent study that showed Phelps County currently has 4,273 residents ages 20-59. With current trends, that number is expected to decline to 4,082 residents of that age group by 2029 leaving a critical gap in the workforce.

“We’ve got to grow faster just to keep pace with the current employment needs,” Tillery said. “It’s going to have to be significant. We have to have more people who are choosing to live here or return here or stay here. Everything we do needs to support that overriding need in the community.”

PCDC has emphasized encouraging youth to return to Holdrege with its High Demand Jobs Scholarships and support of the Janssen Auto Tech program and the ESU STEM trailer. PCDC also is supporting housing development through grants to developers and employers.

But, more work is needed.

“We can’t expect anybody else except us to shape our town into a place where people want to live,” Tillery said. “It’s up to all of us to make this place attractive and welcoming.”

In addition to the regular annual business meeting, the evening will celebrate more than 100 local investors who pledged more than $1 million to support the work of PCDC for the next five years in the GROW37 Partnership Campaign.

The PCDC annual meeting will be one of the first events at the newly remodeled Holdrege Sun Theater and Event venue, which is expected to open to the public on April 15.

“The Sun Theater is an important community landmark, and it has undergone a tremendous renovation,” Tillery said. “They are retaining some of the important historical details, but it's been modernized to accommodate events like ours. This is an opportunity to reintroduce the community to the Sun Theater and what it’s going to be for the next 100 years. We also want to celebrate the investment that Adjacent Entertainment (the owners of the Sun) has made in our community.”

The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will be by invitation only. Theater food, including popcorn, hot dogs and Runzas, will be served. A cash bar will be available. After a short business meeting, guests will enjoy the “Field of Dreams” movie in the comfort of the newly renovated theater.