Texas Amphitheatre is a source of pride for County Judge Mike Ford.

"When I went to The Promise, I was incredibly proud when I saw the reaction people had to the facility," Ford said. "But it is one of those areas of county finance we are constantly battling." 

Due to the cost of maintaining the facility and the lack of success in attracting events, Ford said the amphitheater is also a course of frustration. 

A number of years ago, the county considered selling the facility, but did not find any of the purchase proposals suitable.

Now, the county is calling on management companies that might be interested in leasing the more than 3,200 seat facility and more than 27 surrounding acres.

Ford said the request for proposals, which was unanimously supported by the court Tuesday, was spurred by an interested party.

Following the meeting, Byron Stinson, member of The Promise in Glen Rose board of directors, said the production is interested in taking over the facility, as long as an amicable agreement could be met. 

Stinson explained that until a couple of years ago, The Promise was operating in the red and funds remain lean for the production, which could easily attract more spectators by moving to another location in a larger city. 

In an effort to keep The Promise, which opened in November 1989, on the local stage and hopefully attract more viewers, the board would consider taking over the amphitheatre and adding events to the annual lineup and and making improvements. But Stinson said the price would have to be right.

He said a long-term goal would to establish another live drama based on gospel, "The Covenant," which would portray the story of the Old Testament whereas The Promise depicts the New Testament.

"We would like to offer the whole story," Stinson said. 

To see if other parties are interested in taking over the outdoor stage, the county will accept sealed proposals through 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 10.

Potential lessees would be responsible for insurance, maintenance, taxes, utilities and operational expenses and must continue to stage The Promise.

When all proposals are in, the county county will have the right to reject all of them if they are not agreeable.

"The whole point is to see if someone has better ideas for making better use of the facility," Ford said.

For more information, contact Ford at (254) 897-2322.