Proctor's Theater hosted Cirkopolis as an effort to jump start Schenectady's economy. But as YNN's Megan Cruz reports, Cirque Eloize wasn't quite the attraction they hoped for.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "We were doing about 700 to 800 a performance, and I'd hoped we do more than that," said Proctor's Theatre CEO Philip Morris.
Morris actually expected double, but he believes there is a reason ticket sales were less than expected.
"It's a new thing in America in some way," he said. "People have heard of Cirque Du Soleil, they haven't heard of Cirque Eloize or the other cirques."
When Proctor's announced it's five year partnership with the contemporary circus troupe in February, downtown businesses in Schenectady were hopeful.
"Being a Cirque spin-off, the reviews were good," said Apertivo Bistro Co-owner Peter Blackman.
"We were hoping it would bring a little more business down here in the summertime," said Kelly Cowell, Katie O'Bryne's office manager.
However, business owners weren't thrilled with the outcome.
"Unfortunately, we didn't really see any impact at all," said Blackman.
Downtown businesses like Katie O'Bryne's and Apertivo Bistro say this August was similar to all of the other summer seasons in Schenectady.
"It's a tough time of year because there's a lot of competition," said Blackman. "We live in the Northeast. We can go to Saratoga, we can go to Lake George."
Three of the 18 shows were cancelled. Morris said he and Cirque Eloize are looking forward to the future.
"Come up with a strategy that makes sense for next year," he said. Some of his plans include expanding the popular summer circus camp.
"Far exceeded our expectations," he said. "They were packed. People loved it, loved it."
Blackman said if anyone can make it happen, it's Morris.
"One year doesn't prove anything," said Blackman.
"When we surveyed everybody who came, 87 percent said I'm coming back next year," said Morris. "So that plus another new group of people, I'm sure we'll reach that goal of ours in a couple years."