Wilmington city council discusses convention center rates

Reported by Lynda Figueredo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington City Council passed a resolution (section C7) adopting rates for spaces at the new convention center during their meeting Tuesday.

"The rates are similar to other convention centers in the state and country, but we are flexible depending on how many services and how many rooms a person rents," said city council member Jim Quinn.

The rates are in line with published rates of other similar facilities, including the New Bern and Myrtle Beach Convention Centers.

For instance, an exhibit room of 30,000 square feet goes for $2,900 in Myrtle Beach, $3,500 a day in Wilmington, or you can rent the entire New Bern facility (which is 30,000 square feet) for $4,150.

Quinn said setting room rates allows convention center marketers to begin competing for 2010 bookings, which should begin in the next few months, even though construction on the center is expected to be complete in August 2010.

Stephen Williams with the Hilton Riverfront said he is excited about the opening of the convention center, because it will bring in a lot of business to the Wilmington area.

Quinn said room occupancy taxes should help the convention center pay for itself.

"People will come buy hotel rooms and pay property taxes," said Quinn.  "We are able to get people to stay and through the legislature they will pay room occupancy tax, that will pay for our convention center."

Quinn is hopeful the convention center will open many doors in the Wilmington area.

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