Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Convention Centers offering financial incentives

According to a Dec. 8 article in the McClatchy-Tribune Regional News, "Convention centers always wheel and deal to win trade shows and conventions, but the negotiations tend to be held behind closed doors.
Now, with the economy in a tailspin, a number of cities are rolling out sweetened financial incentives and broadcasting their availability

It goes on to quote Professor of Public Administration Heywood Sanders: "This is what it has come to... The rapid-fire expansion of convention center space nationwide made discounting quite common, and that's just been exacerbated by the current economic circumstance."

It was only a few years ago that Sander's addressed a group in Lancaster and argued against the proposed Convention Center project. His concerns were substantiated in the PKF Consultants feasibility study of the project.

A NewsLanc contributor comments, "What is even more troubling is that this is not new news. A Forbes article from 3 years ago says that the fire sale has been going on for years and will no doubt continue.

The contributor continues, "I have been asking for the last 6 years where in the budget of the LCCCA, or the PDCVB (the LCCCA's alternative treasury), where the slush fund monies are? Where are the funds going to come from to give the incentives that we will need to pay to compete for center business?"