Should we expand the convention center? - San Diego, California Talk Radio Station - 760 KFMB AM - 760kfmb

Should we expand the convention center?

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We are another step closer towards expanding the downtown convention center. Yesterday at 7:45 we talked with city councilman Kevin Faulkoner about why he thinks the convention center expansion is a good investment (starts at 48:30):

http://media.worldnow.com/kfmbam/podcast/the_mike_slater_show_6526.mp3

Today we talked with the president of the San Diego Hotel and Motel Association about why they support increasing their own hotel taxes to up to 15.5% (one of the highest in the country, Chicago is 15.4%, NY, LA and San Francisco 14%), starts at 50:00:

http://media.worldnow.com/kfmbam/podcast/the_mike_slater_show_6530.mp3

At 8:00 this morning we had a great discussion about the importance of a new convention center. Some things that might be important to keep in mind:

http://media.worldnow.com/kfmbam/podcast/the_mike_slater_show_6531.mp3

-If we expand the center, will they come? Will the CES move from Vegas? Will E3 move from LA? If we expand, is it a guarantee what Comic-Con will stay?

-Does BIGGER necessarily mean MORE tourism?

-Would our time, money and energy be better spent trying to attract MORE conventions, not just bigger ones? What we lack in massiveness, we could make up in volume.

-What are the future of conventions? Apple and Microsoft no longer even go to CES. Will there still be 3 million square foot trade shows in 20 years (the length of the city's investment in expansion)?

-If we do want to compete for the best conventions, shouldn't we be LOWERING taxes on the people who go to conventions?

I think these are all questions worth asking before we knee-jerk agree to the bigger, better, badder convention center because it looks nice.

What do you think? Should we raise our hotel taxes and spend $3 million in general fund money every year for an expanded convention center? Leave your comment below!

 

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