In no particular order:
9 conventions and 12 shows seem to be the only events that bring people into the area. IF they are trying to pay for this with increased hotel tax revenues then they have to have shows that attract people from outside of Wilmington. Eaton and the city expect conventioners to pay for the parking deck and stay at local hotels.
They built this thing in the face of declining attendance at ALL convention centers nationwide. There is still no turn around at them either.
Locally gasoline prices are hampering peoples ability to freely go places for things like shows and stuff.
In order to over come the headwinds they are facing OUR center will have to do things "differently". Some people say Wilmington is a destination place - to a certain extent they are right but for work ? Or play? The same economic forces that stop people from "play" traveling (high gas prices and stagnant wages) stop businesses from attending trades shows and conventions.
I guess the good news is the "play" part seems to be rebounding as the local beach towns are reporting a good year for tourism. The bad news? Convention attendance is still down and there's more and more space available putting pressure on each location to offer free amenities.
IF I have a meeting with 15 people I won't go to the CC. I'd rather book the Hilton (validated free parking) or the Coastline.
Plainly put - there's no justification for having a CC and the events they have don't justify ANOTHER down town hotel.
And they are losing money....
There will always be "room to grow" there...
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