Fair City Management Receives Small Business Award
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
The Hutch Chamber is honored to present the December Small Business Award to Fair City Management, owned by Lucinda Piligian.
Fair City Management was formed as an umbrella company in 2013 to manage multiple businesses owned by Lucinda Piligian. Prior to Fair City Management, Flying Dog Properties was formed in 2011 as a home rental company and started because Lucinda purchased a home in Hutchinson to reconnect with her family and she loved the experience of renovating her home, her husband suggested she open a company to renovate and rent other homes in the community. He also encouraged the purchase of land and The Burt building downtown.
Lucinda’s sister Kathy and niece Brook were Lucinda’s first employees. When Lucinda purchased the building downtown – The Burt, they formed Fair City Management, which oversees The Crystal Ballroom, Full Buck Moon Farm (which runs the farm at Yaggy—which also has about 75 Enchanted Acres), and Fair City Folk Art. Flying Dog Properties is now also part of Fair City Management and has seven Air BnBs and six rental homes.
Kathy and Lucinda’s motto is they fly by the seat of their pants. They started out not knowing a lot about what they were getting into.
The original intent of purchasing The Burt building was to create a folk art museum, but was quickly changed once Lucinda learned about the building’s history, and the Crystal Ballroom renovations began. The goal was to have a modern feel paired with the historic feel of the building. Kathy and Lucinda didn’t have experience with event rentals, so six months before opening, they went to a 3-day information packed convention in New Orleans to learn more about operating a wedding and event venue.
Property management and event venue management are very different things. When Lucinda updated the rentals, it was with the thought and care that any one of them would be a place where she would like to live. With the ballroom she learned so much while planning her kids’ weddings. Weddings are a big day and she wanted to give wedding parties a beautiful backdrop where they can come in and add their own touches. It’s wonderful that it’s always a happy place—weddings, Christmas parties, and other celebrations.
When they purchased Yaggy she was excited to renovate the homes and was so excited to share the experience of the place with others—it feels like you’ve been transported somewhere else.
One of the challenges they face is that Lucinda primarily lives in California, so she relies heavily on Kathy to run the day-to-day operations. Another challenge they faced was timing. They officially opened The Crystal Ballroom in October of 2019 and by spring of 2020 most to all events were canceled or postponed. The first year was lean. Continuous maintenance is always a priority - staying on top of infrastructure and appearance at their properties.
When they opened Flying Dog Properties many told them that renters would tear up their properties, but that’s not been their experience. People have paid their rent and taken care of the property. There’s mutual respect between the tenants and the company. “When you take care of people, they get it, and they give back to you likewise.”
The Crystal Ballroom offers a non-profit rental rate. Lucinda has been involved with and supportive of Cancer Council of Reno County, TECH, Interfaith Housing, and now the Hutchinson Downtown Project. She wants to see Hutchinson’s downtown becoming more of a destination.
This year she created Lucinda’s Hometown Foundation. It’s a donor advised fund. She took the money she inherited from the loss of her mother and stepfather during COVID and reinvested it to be used for Hutchinson. She wants it to grow and build because then there will be even more to give. She’ll add to it as she can. It’s something she’s doing specifically for Hutchinson.
Lucinda wants everyone to have a good life, a roof over their head, and a thriving community. It brings her joy to make things better.