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Under New Management

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Woodrows replace Finkens at Davies Amphitheater

By Joe Foreman, Editor

The Davies Amphitheater is now officially under new management, but don’t expect to see any drastic changes when the outdoor concert season rolls around next summer.

Glenwood resident Gordon Woodrow and his wife, Lori, assumed their new management duties at the amphitheater from Russ and Sybil Finken earlier this fall.

"We’re going to try to just keep things going," Gordon Woodrow said during a recent interview." We’re not going to make any drastic changes. Of course, we’re always looking to bring in new types of entertainment, as Russ and Sybil always did, too. But, for the most part, you’re going to see the same quality entertainment we’ve always had at the amphitheater."

The Finkens formally retired as managers of the amphitheater on Nov. 1, marking the end to an unprecedented 25-year run at the 750-seat facility. The Finkens managed the Davies for 25 of the 28 years it’s been in existence.

The Woodrows were appointed as the Finkens’ replacement by the Davies Amphitheater Board of Directors, a committee Gordon Woodrow had served on since the amphitheater’s inception.

"I guess it was just really kind of a logical move. We’re really familiar with the operation," Woodrow said. "Ever since the amphitheater was built, I’ve been on the board of directors, and most of the time as president. We didn’t feel like we really wanted to start somebody completely from scratch. I had to retire from the board of directors because the board hires the manager and it would’ve been a conflict of interest."

The Woodrow family has been actively involved in the promotion of fine arts in the Glenwood community for years. Gordon Woodrow came to Glenwood in 1966 and spent 18 years as the high school band director. He now works out of his home as a computer programmer. Lori Woodrow is a native of Glenwood and is employed as a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs.

"With our background in music and our children all out of college now, it gives us a little more free time," Gordon Woodrow said. "Not that we’re going to do it for the next 25 years like the Finkens, but this way will at least allow us to keep things going while we maybe wing somebody else in."

The Woodrows will hit the ground running after the holidays as they begin booking shows for the 2009 summer season.

"We’ve talked to Sybil to see how they’ve gone about it," Gordon Woodrow said. "First, we’ll book the Air Force groups and then book the regulars who are big draws. We have certain ones that everyone likes to have back and they like to come here."

The Woodrows are already selling Gold Card family passes for the 2009 season. The Gold Cards sell for $40 and can be reserved by calling the Woodrows at 527-3545.

Gift certificates will be provided for all Gold Cards purchased this month as Christmas gifts.