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Convention center big topic in Tuesday's election

WILMINGTON -- With the election just days away several key issues are in the spotlight. Topping that list is the Wilmington convention center. Now the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is criticizing certain candidates for allegedly trying to mislead voters about the project. Members say the convention center will be funded from room-occupancy tax revenue and will generate $1.5 million a year for the local economy. Mayoral candidate Harper Peterson has made his stance against the project a center-piece of his campaign. He says the chamber is speculating on its future success. "Who's going to pay for this when it sits empty, when we have a tropical storm, when we have to compete against Myrtle Beach, New Bern, Raleigh and Charlotte? It's just not a wise business decision," Peterson said. Mayoral candidate Justin LaNasa also opposes the convention center calling it poorly planned. Mayor Bill Saffo favors it not only for the revenue he says it will generate, but for the 800-1,200 new jobs it will create.

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No convention center

We do not need a convention center. What is going to happen when the motel room tax doesn't cover the cost? You guessed it. It will come out of the citizens pockets. And we don't need a place for concerts either. Most bands play in Myrtle Beach now so they won't play here too.

Convention Center

The creation of new jobs will be automatic once the center is complete. Many new companies, and existing companies, will have to add new employees to support the center. Not only will it add jobs at the convention center itself but also at hotels, restaurants, the airport, car rental agencies, and other various service and support businesses. During construction, the construction companies and material supply companies will add additional jobs. Also unlike many other cities, we do not have a true industrial base with which to draw additional revenues. The convention center will be a fantastic vehicle to draw people to the area who may not have chosen to travel here before. Once here, they will see what a great area this is for tourism and thus spread the word.

Forget the convention center

Forget the convention center and build an arena for concerts!!!!!


Wilmington needs a place for concerts, that would make Wilmington an excellant central place for bands on the east coast

Also agree

I would love to see that happen seeing we already have a convention center. We just had our 10 year HS reunion there on Sat. night and there is nothing wrong with that place. Scrap the notion of a new convention center and build the arena. I would love to see Simplified from Charlotte do the opening concert.

Has anyone ever called Saffo's bluff?

Has he ever given a breakdown of what and where these 800-1200 new jobs will be? Or does he just keep spouting these imaginary numbers with absolutely nothing to substantiate them?

An even bigger topic will be...

What the voter turnout is for this election. We can only hope it's significant.

why not

why not compete with myrtle beach and raleigh and charlotte....dont make it so that it stays empty...make it so that it stay full....we got alot of attractions that we could put there...invite more major bands to play here....make it so that wilmington aint just a summer attraction...make it where people wanna come to wilmington...aint that the idea? attractions...more money


Respectfully Sir/Ma'am, You have fallen victim to the misconception that this convention center will host concerts. It has been very lightly stated that it won't! This is the dirty little fact that Saffo doesn't want you to know about. The point most people in Wilmington are missing is that this convention center is not for is for them, them being big business. In case anyone hasn't noticed, this is where all of our tax dollars are going, courting big business. We have a convention center (coastline) that sits idle most of the time. The reason it sits idle is that the rental for a weekend is priced out of site for a small club or orignization with local roots. Our club quit having conventions there in the early 90's because of price. Imagine what the rent is going to be for this new convention center!

convention center

I think the sewer system should be the top priority instead of a convention center. Who wants to come to a city with sewer running over