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Lancaster County has deal for convention center debt - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster County has deal for convention center debt

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) -

A newly approved funding plan aims to get the Lancaster County Convention Center out of the red.

County Commissioner Scott Martin on Wednesday unveiled details of the plan that was reached after a year of negotiations.

Martin said an agreement between the county and the city, Marriott hotel developer Penn Square Partners, the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority, Wells Fargo, and the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau will help pay down the convention center's $63 million debt.

"Everyone's worked very hard in doing this," Martin said. "Everybody is sacrificing to be part of this, as well in order to make this work."

A new marketing strategy is in place to attract large conventions and events, and Wells Fargo has lowered its interest rates.

"Without this interest rate reduction by the Authority, and given the fact that the hotel tax for a while had not been performing - and so it impacted the revenue to the authority - the facility wouldn't have been able to operate, would not have been able to pay its debt," Martin said.

There is no increase in the hotel tax that the county implemented to help pay off the convention center's debt.

"You should always look at everything before you even consider raising a tax," Martin said. "In this case, it goes to show we were able to find common ground, sacrifice, in order to get this job done."

County and city officials must still vote on the plan, and all partners must sign off on it by the beginning of next year.

 

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