Meeting News - November 10, 2008 - (Page 12)

Convention Centers Philadelphia is drawing near a 1.2percent hotel tax hike to fund its convention center expansion, while Dallas is close to securing an operator for the convention center hotel that it is building. In Dallas, Omni Hotels and Marriott International are reportedly the finalists to operate the $500 million, city-owned hotel. The city is looking to secure an operator and a development deal by year end, and it intends to sell publicly backed revenue bonds in January to fund construction, which the city council and mayor Tom Leppert hope will begin in April. That’s because an opposition group, called Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel, triggered a public referendum set for May by submitting a 60,000-signature petition to the city. “We will continue to move forward on the schedule we’ve identified,” Leppert told Dallas Morning News. While he and Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO Phillip Jones are prominently urging for a convention hotel—expected to be a 1,000-room property opening around 2012— the anti-hotel group contends it is not viable and that taxpayers are on the hook in the weak local hotel market and national economy. Leppert argued that the bonds are to be repaid using hotel revenues, not taxpayer money, and proponents will be trying to convince the public to buy them. Jones has previously said the city misses out on $800 million per year in group business because it doesn’t have room inventory next to the Dallas Convention Center. In Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion proj- By William Ng Dallas, Philadelphia Progress On Their Improvement Projects ect has had its own share of problems, but it appears to be ever closer to reality. The city council is expected to pass a bill to raise the bed tax from 7 to 8.2 percent to cover the city’s portion of the now-$790 million tab to increase the facility’s usable space by 60 percent. The state is expected to infuse $700 million using gaming tax revenues—including those from the two Philadelphia slot casinos that are still slogging in development. The expanded center is targeted for 2011. Construction bids have already been awarded. H 12 MeetingNews November 10, 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - November 10, 2008

Meeting News - November 10, 2008
MN Exclusive Research
%20%20%20%20%20Green & Social Responsibility: The Year that Was in Meetings
Incentive Special: Recovering from AIG
What's Up @
Letters to the Editor
Inside the Meetings Industry
South Africa Supplement
Newsmaker Q&A
People Making News
Hotels & Resorts
%20%20%20%20%20Starwood Hopes E-Portal is Small Meeting Utopia
%20%20%20%20%20Intercontinental O'Hare Puts Art at Forefront
Convention Centers
%20%20%20%20%20Dallas and Philadelphia Move on Their Projects
%20%20%20%20%20Jacksonville Markets to Medical, Cultural Groups
%20%20%20%20%20Jamaica's Rose Hall Area Blossoms with Resorts
%20%20%20%20%20EIBTM Puts Together an Ambitious Program
Transportation & Services
Meeting News South
Green Beat
Destination Insider
%20%20%20%20%20Fort Lauderdale
Incentive Report
MN Webcast Report
Ad Index
Live from the Forum

Meeting News - November 10, 2008