Dome casings

The Avanti dome in Beijing still deflated, could reopen in October

The dome at Avanti’s Dome in Beijing is still out of order after it was damaged in a storm last month. But manager Brian Wonders said the timing could have been a lot worse.

“It was during a slack period for indoor activities,” he said. “Most of the events this time of year take place in the banquet hall or outside.”

Wonders added that the unavailability of the dome would only affect three or four events. The Avanti’s Dome and the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau have made efforts to find alternative venues for these events. If the dome had been damaged during the winter, Wonders said, the impact would have been significant not only for the event complex, but also for the city of Beijing.

Water stands on the deflated Avanti Dome in Beijing.  Recent storms have damaged the dome and authorities are awaiting an insurance assessment to determine how and when to repair and re-inflate it.

“With the winter tournaments, it’s 21 to 25 teams that come an hour and a half or more away. It would be a loss of revenue for hotels and businesses, ”Wonders said.

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The resort’s 76,000 square foot dome hosts tournaments, games, and practices for sports such as soccer, softball, and football. High school and college teams from across central Illinois compete and train there. Wonders noted that when the dome is busiest, it can accommodate activities from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. or later.

Last month’s damage to the dome occurred when 100 mph winds caused a separation tear in the structure’s emergency door. The dome lost air pressure and slowly deflated over a period of several hours.

A cloud dome looms over the Avanti Dome in Beijing in a skyline normally dominated by a swollen cloth dome.  Strong winds from a storm last month damaged the dome and it deflated.  The banquet hall and sports fields remain open, and an outdoor concert is scheduled for July 17 in the parking lot.

Wonders said he was waiting for insurance estimates to assess the damage and determine whether it would be more cost-effective to rebuild or repair the structure. Either way, he expects the dome to be available by October.

“We hope to always be there for the community,” he added. “The banquet hall is always open and the outdoor ball fields are always available. We always organize events. The dome itself is only part of the complex.


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