Convention Center wants voters to approve expansion plan

Author: Anusha Roy, KXLY4 Reporter, anushar@kxly.com
Published On: Mar 22 2012 06:35:13 PM PDT
Spokane convention center
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Spokane Convention Center is looking to expand, adding more exhibit space and meeting rooms to be paid for with sales and hotel room taxes.

The idea behind expanding the convention center is to stay competitive and attract more people to Spokane, and overall the idea would cost approximately $65 Million.

That would include 18,000 new square feet of exhibition space, building additional meeting space as well as adding 750 seats at the Arena and comes on the heels of the last expansion five years ago.

But the question is where will that money come from?

The plan is to ask voters to extend two existing taxes for 10 years. One is a one-tenth of one percent sales tax while the other is a two percent hotel-motel tax.

"In 2010, visitors spent $856 Million in SpokaneCounty. If we are not competitive we can't keep bringing more conventions in. That number could go down," Cheryl Kilda with Visit Spokane said.

Visit Spokane says a majority of these taxes will actually be paid for by visitors to the area.