All about the ROSE Doll Show
All of us should feel indebted to Sarah and Letha Mellman for laying the foundation for the Rose Doll Show. After experiencing the level of resources it has required from us to have a successful Rose Doll Show, it is astonishing what Sarah and Letha accomplished with Rose before we acquired the show from them. The resource demands of Rose on our company is large enough that it is an absolute requirement that the Rose show happen within driving proximity to Bountiful Baby. We couldn’t operate Rose at the level we do without that.
The current location of Rose, the Davis Conference Center (in Layton, Utah), was chosen by Sarah and Letha before we acquired the show. We have searched all over the surrounding area for something that might improve on their choice of the Davis Conference Center (DCC), and we have found nothing better. Their choice was a wise choice, and the best choice.
Most of the alternate locations are not large enough to host this show. Here is a brief summary of the several that we have looked at:
- The Mountain America Expo Center. This is basically a large warehouse on about 9600 South and State Street, in Sandy, Utah. It is large. Very large. But where are the hotels? I don’t think this will work for Rose.
- The Salt Palace Convention Center. In the center of Salt Lake City. Too small for this show. And not as elegant and safe of a location as the current location.
- Little America Hotel. Too small for this show.
- Grand America Hotel and Convention Center. Conveniently located right next to a TRAX train station in the middle of Salt Lake City, and you could go directly from the Salt Lake Airport to this location via TRAX. This location is larger than the current location, and even more elegant. But it is expensive. Very expensive. And the show is already expensive enough for those who wish to attend.
- Utah State Fairgrounds. Seriously? No, I don’t think so. It is in a very poor part of town. I personally don’t think the area is safe at night, either. And the hotels near it are 1 star dives, in my opinion, and not something you want.
- Maverik Center. This is only about 3 miles from Bountiful Baby, so we like how close it is. But it is basically a large sports arena with stadium seating. It is meant for sporting events, and not for a show like Rose.
What else is there in this area? We’ve gone up the canyon, towards Park City, and not found anything that will work. Further away, near Heber City, we found a ski resort that looked like it had facilities that would work. But that was 60 miles away. Not very practical.
Sarah and Letha had chosen the best. If anybody really knows of a place that would be better, and is close to Bountiful Baby, speak up and let’s hear your suggestion. This is a community show. It is your show. We want to represent your needs to the best of our ability, and we simply don’t know of any better location.
I am amazed at what happens at the events (the Baby Shower, Awards Banquet, and final party on Saturday). What makes these events particularly interesting is the value of the donations given away by the Rose community. Yes, Bountiful Baby also donates, but the amount of donations from all other parties in the Rose community is truly breathtaking. In 2019 I believe that more value was given away at the events than what had been collected for the event tickets.
Because of those donations from the Rose community, if Rose were to make a profit I feel like we would be making a profit off of the backs of the artists that provided the donations. Here and now I publicly pledge not to do that. If Rose starts to become profitable, I will make whatever adjustments are in the best interests of the Rose community to return the funds back to the community.
Costs To Operate Rose:
It costs more than $160,000 to put on a Rose show. Costs fall into three categories: (1) fees paid to the DCC conference center, (2) wages paid for staffing, and (3) various miscellaneous expenses such as decorations, games and prizes, trophies, cost of souvenirs, printing of the ROSE program, ROSE calendar, advertising, 3rd party vendor fees for ice cream, cookies, etc. Those various costs break out as follows:
DCC fees: for the 2019 show, DPCR paid DCC $66,010.84. This in turn breaks down as follows: (1) Space Rental $22,028, (2) Food for events $18,654.85, (3) Audio/Visual Charges for the microphone on the show floor, classes and night events $11,225, (4) Tax $3,013.26, (5) Mandatory 22% Gratuity Charge $11,089.73. DCC does not allow outside food brought in unless we pay a $1000 additional surcharge to DCC per outside vendor, which we did for Ruby Snap Cookies in 2019, and Leatherby’s Ice Cream for 2018 and 2017.
Wages: Our company pays employees biweekly, and has more than two dozen employees. For the two-week payroll that encompassed 2019 ROSE, payroll expenses (including payroll taxes) was exactly $68,527.83. For the two-week payroll following ROSE, payroll (including taxes) was exactly $38,155.16. This means an extra $30,000 in payroll expenses was incurred just for the four days of ROSE (there was a lot of employee overtime that week, with Ann alone clocking more than 90 hours that single week). This was then easily matched with at least another $30,000 payroll expenses for the other 50 weeks of the year for the employees to prepare for ROSE. This means direct payroll costs were at least $60,000 for the fiscal year to support the 2019 ROSE show. And these numbers do NOT include anything for mine and Denise’s time.
Miscellaneous Expenses: For 2019, there was about $7,000 spent on just the Baby of the Year mini-baby alone, about $10,000 spent on souvenir costs, and about $7000 for the calendars and the ROSE program pamphlet. Then add in event insurance, the vendor bags, games, prizes, trophies, medals, decorations, and outside food vendor charges (what we paid Ruby Snap Cookies in 2019, and Leatherby’s Ice Cream in earlier years), and we have more than $35,000 total spent in this category for 2019 ROSE.
(You can see from the above that the actual space rental-- of $22,028-- is only about 1/8 of the total cost to put on a Rose show)
Rose is here to stay. And it is going to always be close to Bountiful Baby, which means it will most likely remain at the Davis Conference Center where it is now. Rose has never made a profit for us. We have always lost money, but not so much money as to cause us to want to quit doing the show. We think it is an important part of the doll community, and this community is important to us.
Thank you for all you do.