When the Downtown Columbia master plan was approved in 2010 after years of work, Merriweather's supporters had every reason to cheer. The pavilion we had long fought to keep from the wrecking ball was not only "saved," but it was slated to receive significant renovations and be turned over to a nonprofit community group.
Despite several successful concert seasons since, things have gone downhill. An updated physical needs assessment notes that Merriweather Post will need significantly more renovations than was originally anticipated, largely because of a failure of its owners to invest in the pavilion.
We've been hearing this same song since 2003 when we started Save Merriweather and the refrain is the same: Merriweather's owners view the Pavilion as little more than a bargaining chip and don't really care about its long term success. This shows in current owner Howard Hughes Corporation's actions, or rather failure to act.
It's time for a new song and for new owners who are fully invested in Merriweather's future. This was the intent of 2010 master plan. We are glad to see County Executive Ken Ulman taking steps to ensure the community's vision is fulfilled, allowing us to say once and for all that Merriweather is "saved" ("Ulman bill would expedite ownership change of Merriweather," March 14).
Justin Carlson, Jessup
The writer is co-founder and president of Save Merriweather.
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