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Consulting firm suggesting Bismarck renovate event center as city wraps up expansion

November 08, 2014

Summary: Bismarck hired Crossroads Consulting Services and Convergence Design to look at how the city should move forward with its event center, which is nearing completion on a $27 million expansion that the city hoped would boost business and allow the center to host the international oil expo that came to town this spring.

BISMARCK, North Dakota — The city of Bismarck is still wrapping up a multimillion-dollar expansion of its event center, but officials with consulting and design firms suggested this week that the city make further renovations.

Bismarck hired Crossroads Consulting Services and Convergence Design to look at how the city should move forward with its event center, which is nearing completion on a $27 million expansion that the city hoped would boost business and allow the center to host the international oil expo that came to town this spring.

Susan Sieger of Crossroads told a city committee this week that it would be in Bismarck's best interest to upgrade the existing event center instead of building a new, larger facility elsewhere.

Sieger, who presented her firm's findings alongside David Greusel of Convergence Design, said the city should concentrate on lobby improvements, a ballroom, kitchen areas and possibly an escalator to upper floors of the event center, among other areas.

The improvements, she said, would improve the center's appearance and enhance its competitiveness.

Sieger's firm will now review public feedback and come up with cost estimates for the potential projects.

Mayor Mike Seminary said the study might lead to a public vote on whether the facility should be renovated. If voters don't favor those improvements, the city wouldn't do them, he said.

In November 2012, Bismarck voters rejected increasing the city's hospitality taxes for a larger, $90 million expansion. The city commission shortly after voted to instead use existing hospitality taxes and do the $27 million project.


Go to http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/7144738c499945d78d881c0d9178f978/ND--Event-Center-Bismarck

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