KMSB "Fox-11 Forum" & KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 8/7/11, 7:30 AM & 10:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Fletcher McCusker, CEO, Providence Service Corporation. McCusker is also Chair of the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation and the driving force behind 2nd Saturdays Downtown. McCusker moved his company headquarters into the Scott Building downtown last year.

McCusker says the private sector is leading the way in downtown redevelopment, citing the new Unisource Energy building nearby, restaurants and three new privately-funded UA student housing complexes.  He says if private investors continue to step up, the public-funded Rio Nuevo efforts isn’t as important.

Regarding the Fox Tucson Theatre, which owes 7-million dollars to Rio Nuevo, money fronted to enable completion of the Theatre’s renovation, McCusker says there’s no way that money can be repaid.  He says the Fox business operation was doomed from the start.  He says the venue can bring in more money as a concert venue by concentrating on acts that cater to mostly adults.  He says the Rialto Theatre on the other end of Congress Street focuses on popular touring bands that cater to a younger audience.  

McCusker says he believes music is the key to downtown success.  That’s why, he says, the monthly “2nd Saturdays Downtown” includes a lot of free music.  He says attendance has grown to an average of about 10,000 at each event.  He says these are people who otherwise used to avoid coming downtown. He says activities have expanded beyond Congress Street to some of the side streets.  He says he hopes to see the event expand to “every Saturday downtown.”