Grand Chapel has staffing upheaval

WICHITA — When last we checked in with Dennis Wilkie and his Grand Chapel event center at 828 N. Broadway, he’d just — as he put it — cleaned house.

Looks like he’s done it again. And again.

“I’ve gone through half a dozen different managers in the last few months,” Wilkie says. “When I’m not in attendance over there, it’s kind of like a kindergarten class with the teacher gone.”

Wilkie says staffing issues have hurt business.

“It’s no secret (that) management and staff that I’ve had in the past have just run this thing in the ground,” he says. “I can’t even imagine how many bookings were available that just slipped through our fingers. … We should be booked solid for the next three years, and we’re not.”

Wilkie says all he’s tried to do is have a business “where everybody’s happy and everything is run professional.”

Even though the business hasn’t “made a profit in a long, long time,” Wilkie says “there’s no chance — no chance whatsoever … it’s going to go under.”

“When I get good management in there, it does real well.”

Wilkie thinks he has good management in place now.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” he says. “Things are starting to look good for the first time in a long time.”

Wilkie says he has other businesses that “I’m in pretty deep water on.”

The Chapel is “a business that has the ability to make a lot of money and get me back on my feet.”

“The income from the Chapel is what I’m really hoping is going to help me resolve some of my other financial difficulties.”

Wilkie says customers will benefit at the same time.

“We’re just bending over backwards to help the clients,” he says. “It’s got great potential, and I’m trying to revive it.”