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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

How Are Things Going At Ave Maria Town?

Recent commenters have linked to 2 interesting Naples News articles. For those of us who think that less Monaghan involvement in anything is better than more, the first article has an ominous title -- "As Monaghan's money dwindles, his role expands at Ave Maria":
Tom Monaghan is going broke. The founder of Domino’s Pizza and mastermind behind the new town and university named Ave Maria has drained nearly all of his liquid assets, he said. .....
.....
Monaghan's dwindling resources make the next two years critical in the development and success of both the university, where Monaghan has focused the majority of his energy, and the town that surrounds it.
Thankfully, according to the article, Monaghan still has a lot of non-liquid assets including real estate in Michigan. I wonder if he's thinking of the cash value of a certain building located on the corner of Plymouth and Green in Ann Arbor.
And Monaghan is now in charge of the university's marketing. The school's new marketing director, Forrest Wallace, a Catholic deacon who most recently was a senior marketing manager at a Cincinnati-based bank, will report directly to Monaghan. Monaghan's marketing prowess has long been admired within the cutthroat pizza industry.
Uh, oh. Monaghan is in charge of marketing. Somebody get a hold of Monaghan and tell him that calling people "terrorists" is generally not a good P.R. move. Another word of advice: This is not the pizza industry. Ix-nay on the utthroat-cay.
Initial projections expected 950 home sales in Ave Maria by 2008. Pulte Homes, the town’s residential builder, did not release its sales figures. But cobbling together numbers from a variety of sources shows results well short of 950. Monaghan acknowledged home sales were not meeting expectations and blamed the market.
Oh, boy. That housing market can be fickle.

The second article gives more bad news for Ave Maria University: This weekend's Grand Opening has been cancelled.
The university had planned an opening from Jan. 10-13 for its new permanent campus and oratory in eastern Collier County, but it was canceled. Another event following Ave Maria town's opening in July and the university's opening in August would be redundant, school spokesman Rob Falls said.

"What are we really going to celebrate the opening of?" Falls said.

The school had invited Diocese of Venice Bishop Frank Dewane to celebrate a dedicatory Mass at the school's new 100-foot tall, $24 million oratory, or Catholic place of prayer, on Jan. 13. But Dewane hasn't agreed to consecrate the oratory and Mass cannot be celebrated inside until he does. Falls said the oratory's status had "nothing to do" with the opening's cancellation.
Come now, Mr. Falls. "Nothing to do"? Then why cancel the party? I was looking forward to the hors-d'oeuvres! (Especially those little cocktails weiners. Mmm, mmm.)
Ave Maria still will hold its fifth annual golf tournament this weekend with festivities beginning the evening of Jan. 10 with a pairings dinner and auction at 6 p.m. at the Club at Mediterra in Naples. The tournament will be held at the town’s new Del Webb course.
Boko, that's great news for you. There will still be golf! When is your tee off time?

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