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From: domainremoved <Skip>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 00:07:00 -0800

Dear City Council members

As you know I am a big advocate for pushing ourselves to see what Menlo
Park can become.

I recently met with Drew Dunlevie and heard about an exciting proposal from
the nonprofit Peninsula Arts Guild that would revitalize the Guild into a
multi-purpose venue for a broad range of arts and entertainment, including
musical performances. I understand that the proposal will retain
programming for art films as well, which would preserve the current use for
those residents that prefer what the Guild offers today.

I have heard the Guild is struggling along with many single screen art
houses hit hardest with the rise of Netlix and alternative forms of
entertainment (witness the loss of the Park Theater). The last few times I
went to a movie at the Guild the theater was barely half full.

I know that the Aquarius theater in Palo Alto is fairing better, after a
significant remodel and addition of liquor license for beer and wine, and
limited food menu. I do not know the current plans for the Guild, but
understand The Guild is leasing month-to-month which may not last.

Of course you have already shown that our City Council is looking for ways
to energize our downtown, and also keep discretionary entertainment dollars
of our residents in our city. The addition of street side dining on
SantaCruz and the urban park on Crane street are moves that encourage new
businesses like Madame Collette and CoffeeBar to locate in Menlo Park. We
want to support our local economy! So I am asking that you look seriously
at this proposal from the Peninsula Arts Guild as something that will have
a lasting positive impact on our community.

From what I have heard, this will be the kind of place that A-list
performers would consider playing "small gigs" between bigger arena shows
in SF and the peninsula. This project has solid backing, and so I do not
think the project will cut corners or result in a venue that is less than

Surely there will be complaints about potential traffic and parking
issues. Traffic is created whenever you have something worth driving to,
so lets not promote vacant lots and sleepy venues in Menlo Park in order to
avoid traffic. Most of the programming will be after hours and weekends
anyway so commute traffic will not be greatly impacted. And there is
abundant parking across the street behind the Charles Schwab building that
is rarely used in the evenings or weekend.

It sounds like Menlo Park is only one of a small number of potential
sites/communities for this project, so I hope that you will move with
purpose and vision on this one so it does not end up in another community.
I have lots of friends and neighbors that would spend more time and money
at the Guild with live music and other performances, in addition to the art
films currently shown. If not we will most likely spend our entertainment
dollars in RWC or Palo Alto, instead of supporting our own home tome.

Lets not let this one get away!

Skip Hilton
25 year resident of Menlo Park
Father of 3
Tech executive
Received on Mon Jan 29 2018 - 00:07:00 PST

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