While ticket sales for everything from movie seats to theatrical performances have become a victim of a slowing economy, business for one local discount ticket broker has been booming.

Tix Corp., which was listed as TIXC on the Nasdaq exchange earlier this month, is predicting a 40 percent increase in ticket sales this year to over 1 million sold for a variety of Las Vegas shows. Sales generated $7.5 million in fees and commissions for the company in 2007, according to the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Studio City-based Tix operates five discount ticket booths along the Strip in Las Vegas under the name Tix4Tonight. It sells tickets from 50 percent off and up, but only on the day of the event or show. Tix gets batches of unsold tickets from show and event producers and quickly sells them off to tourists seeking discount prices.

"With some show tickets priced at more than $150 each, we have hundreds of people standing in line day and night to get a deal," said Mitch Francis, chief executive of Tix.

The company only makes its tickets available at Tix4Tonight booths along the Strip, not through concierges or brokers. Tix also sells tickets for discount dinning reservations and golf tee times, among other events.

Nearly a year ago, the company acquired Exhibit Merchandising so it now sells T-shirts and other souvenir items with show graphics.

Tix is also preparing to go international with an Internet ticketing branding currently under development.

Permit Changes

City officials are preparing to put film permitting coordination services out for bid, while making several recommendations to streamline the current service being handled by FilmLA, a private non-profit contractor.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials are recommending that FilmLA's contract, which expires June 30, be extended by six months at a cost of $572,000 in order to redefine the scope of the new contract proposal, still being drafted by the city.

FilmLA asked for a yearlong extension in order to prepare for the bidding process. City officials have responded by offering two 90-day optional extensions beyond the initial six months.

The city wants the contractor to combine permit coordination, community notification and complaint referral services. Those services are currently handled by FilmLA but are funded separately.

In addition, city officials have asked FilmLA to immediately make more staff workers available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to handle problems.


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