Most of the dust from the recent Stockyards kerfuffle has settled, but Billy Bob’s Texas didn’t get the memo.
The partners in the world-famous honky-tonk are squabbling, stuck in a corporate deadlock about how and who will manage the massive entertainment venue.
Plans for redevelopment of the Stockyards starting causing problems among the ownership in 2012, boiling over with a proposal to build a Billy Bob’s Texas Hotel.
Concho Minick, Billy Bob’s manager and a minority owner, favored building a hotel near the venue. He also raised concerns about the Stockyards redevelopment in front of the Fort Worth City Council. His actions really angered some of the club’s other owners.
On top of that, there is an odd ownership agreement where all the owners have to vote unanimously one way or the other on any major decisions.
Because no can agree on the future of Billy Bob’s, everyone is just treading water, waiting for the courts to help sort it all out.
And the developers of the new-and-improved Stockyards are not pleased.
No wonder everyone involved is flustered. But all Fort Worth residents should be, too.
Having Billy Bob’s future so uncertain jeopardizes its future. The music venue, which has been in the Stockyards since 1981 (the building itself since 1910), is a linchpin of the area.
Billy Bob’s success or struggle will affect tourism in Fort Worth. No venue around has as much name recognition or curiosity draw. Tourists want to be cowboys for the day and spend time listening to country, eating steak and seeing some cows. Maybe they will purchase a cowboy hat or two, but the experience is what matters.
Billy Bob’s is part of that experience.
And without the renowned music venue, many performers might have to find elsewhere to become the next Merle Haggard.
It is also a cornerstone of nightlife in Fort Worth.
But for Billy Bob’s to keep some semblance of stability, managers need to get along with the Hickmans, the family behind the redevelopment.
That means no renegade hotel or at-odds owners. The lawsuit needs to end quickly, and owners need to regroup.
And Fort Worth residents need to make sure Billy Bob’s doesn’t die, by keeping tabs on its future.
Billy Bob’s Texas is too important to lose.