Task force recommends saving Dayton Convention Center

December 20, 2018

Summary: A study that included Convergence Design was cited by a task force looking at the future of the Dayton Convention Center. The task force recommended keeping the center, but making it a "state of the art" convention facility.

By  – Staff Reporter, Dayton Business Journal

A local task force that has spent the last year examining possible outcomes for the Dayton Convention Center is recommending the facility be saved.

"We believe it is needed in the community and should stay," said Phil Parker, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Dayton Convention Center Task Force. "But we also want to grow the business and economic impact of this (facility)."

At a Dayton City Commission meeting Wednesday night, Parker presented four ideas related to how the convention center could be redeveloped into a prosperous facility for the city and surrounding communities.

The first suggestion is to retain, invest and maintain a high-quality convention center that drives regional economic development. This includes maintenance and upkeep of the facility, along with additional amenities such as a new hotel. Parker noted a new Fairfield Inn & Suites recently opened downtown, but he said another hotel could be warranted.

"We still think there's plenty of room ... to create beds, especially in and around or near downtown," he said.

The task force also recommends developing a regional ownership model and operating structure for the convention center. The city of Dayton has owned the building since it opened in the 1970s, but Parker said it may be time for that to change.

"We think we need to look at other ownership or governance structure models like what we see in Columbus or Cincinnati," he said. "Most convention centers are managed by private management companies, and they bring a lot to the table."

In terms of operations, Parker said it is imperative the facility be profitable. This is especially important, as one of the main reasons the task force was assembled is because the convention center has been operating with a budgetary loss since 2012.

The third recommendation is to develop and scale support services and resources, including marketing and sales, regional synergy and transportation services.

The task force suggested bringing

Go to https://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/news/2018/12/20/task-force-recommends-saving-dayton-convention.html

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