Officials in Pa. town want shuttered concert venue, built with $15M in tax money, reopened

Officials in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains want to bring a shuttered performing arts center back to life, seeing potential in a 12-year-old venue built with $15 million in state tax money that critics have long regarded as a mismanaged white elephant.

The Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts in Pike County struggled almost immediately after opening in 2003 and last hosted a performance nearly three years ago. A 2007 state audit blasted three governors for failing to exercise oversight over the venue's construction and management.

Elected officials in Lehman Township say they want to see the dormant venue hosting concerts again. They plan to reach out to the Philadelphia-area real estate developers who now own the property, and are working on a tax abatement program as an incentive.