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Can the convention center project survive the recession?

READ MORE: Can the convention center project survive the recession?
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One year has passed and construction for Wilmington's Convention Center continues, when many projects nationwide have collapsed along with the economy. Progress on the site is a sigh of relief for Wilmington’s Constantina Sears. “We've already started lets not stop midway,” she said. Sears is looking forward to the possibilities the new venue will bring. “There's going to be so much more influx of people coming in to our community that our businesses are going to start booming.” But can convention center construction survive the recession? Project Manager, Steve Bridges, said it is still scheduled to be ready by spring 2010, featuring a four-story parking deck, which is currently being built, and a six-story hotel. Room occupant tax from area hotels is paying for the $60 million project. That is why Bridges said there is no need for people to worry about the project falling through. Critics of the convention center said that construction should stop on the project and the money should go towards other things in our area's ailing economy, but city leaders said that is not possible. “This money cannot be used for anything but to construct, operate and manage a convention center. That's what the North Carolina legislators set it up to be. And it's the only way that the city of Wilmington can use this particular money,” Bridges said. Although the company that will run the convention center said the recession has caused low attendance at some of its other venues, Bridges expects the economy will get better once the convention center is open. “That's what we're thinking. By the time we're opening, we're hoping the new president can turn the economy up and roaring again.” The city said it is already receiving inquires from people interested in using the convention center for everything from corporate meetings to ballroom dancing.

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stop complaining already...

people people...enough whining and complaining about the convention center being built. Obviously reading (or perhaps listening) is not a strong suit of the people complaining about it. IT IS NOT BEING BUILT WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS, so it isn't costing the people of Wilmington a single penny. So unless you people can see into the future, and absolutely 100% know it's going to be a failure, then how about giving the rest of us a break, and keep your whining to yourself. It's obvious that even though it has been stated a million times that it isn't being built at a cost to the taxpayers, you all still complain about it costing you money. SO how about you all just keep your comments to yourself for a couple of years, until after it's up and running. Then at that time, if it becomes a complete and utter failure, and a burdon on the good people of Wilmington, you can start back up, with your "I told you so"..but on the off chance that it does become a success and brings money and tourism into the community, as predicted, please feel free to thank the city leaders who brought it to us, if you are adult enough to do so..

You still believe.....

...in the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny, don't you? Why not check out our area's proud history of promising that "This will not cost the taxpayers a dime," only to see buckets of money later poured in by city and county alike. Start with Airlie "we swear they'll be self-sufficient" Gardens.

Our tax dollars

The rates of hotel and motel rooms are already ridiculous without extra taxes. People are cutting back on spending in this tough economic environment and the extra they spend on tax after tax is less they'll have to spend on other things locally and may even put that vacation or convention out of reach. You wrote; "if it becomes a complete and utter failure, and a burdon on the good people of Wilmington, you can start back up, with your "I told you so". Statistics have proven that these things loose money. I just love it when one side of a debate suggests that the other stop 'complaining" or "whining". You must be on city council or in their pocket. This isn't communist China, yet.

thank you...finally someone

thank you...finally someone with some sense

Totally agree with you

Finally! There are lots of people in Wilmington who are excited about what the convention center could do, but who are afraid to say anything just because of its uncertainty at this point. And most of them don't voice their opinions just for the reason stated above, that they don't want to hear "I told you so" if it doesn't show a huge profit the first year. I for one am willing to give it a chance and am excited about what this could mean for the city. But of course I am remaining totally anonymous...

Here's your chance, city

Here's your chance, city council and all higher ups in our city, just cut the convention project, it was a lousy idea anyway, and bonus--you can blame it on the recession.Now's your chance---our city can't afford this, other things need to be taken care of first and...and maybe ya'll won't look so ignorant in my eyes. sincerely anne chan

They won't do it

Some on council have a vested interest in the "Creative Property" downtown. http://www.creativeproperties.biz/

Is there

any possibility the new Governor could pull the funding from this project as the former Governor pulled funding from the Community Colleges in an attempt to balance the state budget? If she can, then what?

Convention Center ...

Should work on the convention center be stopped or held due to the economy downturn and more pressing needs? The answer is simple. "If taxpayer dollars are being spent on the construction of the center, the work should be stopped and the money be available for more pressing needs". This really is a "no brainer".

Conv. center

What a laugh for the people of Wilmington,we can look for another tax increase from this deal. You know all of these elected official that get in office,they lose any knowledge they had about spending our money,and was to represent the people.You can be assured they would not spend their money like they do our money.They are all alike peroid.