In December 2011, a leadership consortium, led by the Greater Boise Auditorium District and including representatives from the City and the philanthropic community, engaged AMS Planning & Research (AMS) to explore the feasibility of repurposing all or a portion of the existing Boise Centre facility for a Performing Arts Center. The Greater Boise Auditorium District had initiated plans to forward a referendum to develop a larger convention facility for the Boise community and the leadership consortium believed that the Boise arts community might be well served by a mid-sized (approximately 1,000 seats) venue in downtown Boise, suggesting that the potential opportunity provided by a relocated and expanded Convention Center might appropriately serve that need.
AMS engaged in a series of tasks to identify community and market interest in the project, assess potential use of a new mid-size facility and how the presence of a new venue might complement or compete with others in the community, study comparable markets with a similar inventory of facilities in the United States and create an activity profile and operating plan based on input received.
The desire for a new mid-sized performance venue in downtown Boise came from an understanding that current options in Boise were not financially or artistically viable, rather than that existing facilities were so busy that they could not accommodate all of the demand. During the course of the study, the Velma E. Morrison Center at Boise State University developed a flexible curtain system to propose a solution that may well address these articulated venue challenges.
While AMS did not recommend the development of a new performance space downtown, it did craft several ”next steps” recommendations, including the development of a cultural master plan.