German Village Gazette

Haus und Garten Tour

Society officials are thrilled with receipts

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The German Village Society's Board of Trustees was literally popping the champagne corks over this year's Haus und Garten Tour.

The trustees at their July 14 meeting passed around the bubbly and desserts to celebrate surpassing their 2014 goals by 15 percent.

The tour officially made $150,000, representing a 79-percent return on investment, German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov said after the meeting.

Todorov also said it was a $31,000 improvement over last year's tour, a record. The PreTour, meanwhile, represented $59,000 of the total.

Final numbers weren't released until Friday, July 18.

However, based on preliminary numbers, tour organizers said they knew they had cause to rejoice.

Tanya Rutner, chief producing officer for Raising Green Productions, which helps the Society raise funds for various events, told board members sponsorship far exceeded the goal of $15,000 to $24,500, she said.

Frontgate, an outdoor furniture company that was the tour's official sponsor, ponied up $10,000 and an estimated $6,000 to $7,000 in furniture to tour hosts.

The tour made $52,000 from ticket sales, $25,000 of which were from advance sales at Giant Eagle. The grocery store sold a total of $14,000 last year.

The tour made another $16,000 at the door and $6,500 in Autobahn sales, where patrons spent $50 each to bypass long tour lines.

The Society had budgeted for $24,250 in ticket sales. Last year's ticket sales totaled $14,000.

Rutner said a large portion of the 1,400 tickets sold at Giant Eagle was purchased June 28, a day before the tour. She attributed last-minute sales, including general admission purchases, to those watching the weather. There was some concern following a heavy downpour that fell during most of the PreTour event hours. However, the rain subsided and didn't show up at all the day of the tour.

The Society had another reason to smile: tour officials budgeted $2,600 on golf cart rentals from the tour and PreTour, but pulled in $4,150.

Trustees said 200 volunteers helped shepherd attendees at the 55th annual tour, held June 29 and featuring 10 houses and two gardens.

"I feel really good where we are at and have laid the groundwork to grow," Rutner said. "I don't think we've plateaued yet."

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