Convention Center Plan Could Mean Loss of Funds for Tourism Authority

MAY 30, 2006 -- A local tourism agency wants to see the latest convention center plan go through, despite the impact it could have on its budget.

Members of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority voted seven to three Tuesday to support a bill in front of the state legislature. That bill is a key part of the out of court settlement arranged between the city and opponents of the convention center plan.

If passed, the bill would result in the Tourism Authority losing $280,000. But the city is promising to launch an ad campaign for the convention center which will make up what the authority is losing.

The authority will also get less money from the hotel room occupancy tax while more goes to beach renourishment.

Mayor Spence Broadhurst says the authority's support for the complicated deal will pay off in the end.

Broadhurst says it's too early to set a date for the convention center groundbreaking.

Reported by Sarah Warlick