Task force formed to evaluate future of Dayton Convention Center

Dayton skyline

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton leaders have formed a task force to assess the future of the convention center.

The task force is comprised of 21 community members, which is being headed by Dayton City Commissioner Chris Shaw and Dayton Chamber of Commerce CEO Phil Parker.

The city-owned building is in need of major renovations after a firm conducted a study showing the structure repairs would cost upwards of $20 million.

“We hear constantly that the convention center is important to the community and we believe that. We want members from the community, business community to see and understand the numbers,” said Dayton Deputy City Manager Joe Parlette.

Based on the data contained in the fund report, the City expended $2,623,324 on the Convention Center operation (includes the Transportation Center Parking Garage) in 2015.  The City earned $2,077,151 in that year, resulting in a deficit of $546,173.

The city says 2016 was a better year.  Total expenses declined 1% to $2,607,770 and revenue increased 16% to $2,403,871, resulting in a lower deficit of $203,899.

Each month, the Convention Center Fund receives the City’s 3% share of the 6% Hotel/Motel tax.  In 2015, that amount was $605,729.  In 2016, that number was $620,235.  These amounts are included in the total revenue amounts mentioned above.

“We (the City of Dayton) bare those costs exclusively and that is without significant capital investment on the facility and that’s just on the operating side of things,” said Parlette.

Members of the Task Force include:
Anita Adams- Jenkins – Kettering Medical Center
Col. Jack Blackhurst – WPAFB/AFRL retired
Branford Brown – Dayton Miami Valley Urban League
Michael Colbert – Montgomery County
Kris Davis – Crowne Plaza Dayton
Sandy Gudorf – Downtown Dayton Partnership
Ben Haller – Marriott (University of Dayton)
Jeff Hoagland – Dayton Development Coalition
Mike Maiberher – Premier Health
David Mellen – PNC
Bob Murphy – The Dayton Dragons
Mike Parks – The Dayton Foundation
Cathy Ponitz – CareSource Foundation
Jacquie Powell – Dayton CVB
Tom Ritchie Sr. – Dayton Miami Valley AFL-CIO
Michael Roediger – Dayton Art Institute
Colleen Ryan – Vectren Energy Delivery
Dr. Eric Spina – University of Dayton
Steve Tieber – The Dublin Pub
Rev. Dr. Daryl Ward – Omega Baptist Church
Jason Woodard – Woodard Real Estate Services

“Whatever the investment number is, we don’t have it. We anticipate the group could come up with other funding sources,” said Parlette.

The task force is expected to begin meeting in mid-January. There is no set timeline as to when a concrete plan will be on the table.

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