The main door of the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre on its 40th anniversary in 2008.

Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres owners buy land

  • Article by: Rohan Preston
  • Star Tribune
  • November 15, 2013 - 10:21 PM

The new owners of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres now have control of the land on which their business sits, officials announced Friday. A purchase price was not disclosed.

“This puts the business on firmer footing and secures the future for us,” said artistic director Michael Brindisi on Friday shortly after signing stacks of documents at a closing.

In 2010, a group led by Brindisi, choreographer Tamara Kangas-Erickson and partner Steven L. Peters purchased the theatrical business from the Bloomberg family, which founded Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in 1968 and expanded it over the years.

It is the biggest musical theater company in the nation.

The family retained ownership of much of the 90,000-square-foot property, which includes theaters, restaurants and retail spaces, even as they sold the business portion in 1989 to Thomas K. Scallen.

Brindisi’s group purchased the business from Scallen.

“It was something like a rental situation but better,” said Kris Howland, public relations director for the Chanhassen.

The purchased land totals “about four acres,” said Brindisi, whose limited liability corporation bought the property on a contract for deed with a 15-year term.

“We now become landlords,” he said. “It’s crazy. I keep getting myself into deeper stuff.”

In recent years, Chanhassen has diversified its income streams. It introduced both a comedy series and a concert series. It also converted one of its four auditoriums into a banquet hall for weddings and receptions.

“We took some heat from the theater community for closing the Fireside, but it was a very good business decision,” Brindisi said. “It takes pressure off the main stage shows to have these other ways of keeping the business going. Don’t get me wrong, theater is the heart and soul of what we do and it still accounts for 90 percent of what we take in, but the moves that we’ve been making ensure the future of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.”

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

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