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Wilmington Convention Center books its first event

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It may still be months away from completion, but the Wilmington Convention Center has already booked its first event.

Friday, in an announcement at City Hall, the North Carolina Engineers Association signed a contract to hold three conventions in Wilmington beginning in 2014. The group will also have a small meeting here next spring. The Convention Center is on target to be completed late this fall. Wilmington beat out seven other areas for the NCEA's business, including Myrtle Beach.

"We're the North Carolina Health Care Engineers, and we wanted to bring our annual conference back to North Carolina, so that's one of the reasons. Then, we just like Wilmington. Wilmington is just a great city," Donald Bayes, the President-Elect for the North Carolina Engineers Association said.

Because it's still up in the air which hotel will accompany the Convention Center, the organization booked rooms at the Blockade Runner and the downtown Hilton for its three conventions.

According to the Cape Fear Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the total estimated economic impact of the conventions will be more than $2 million.

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Tired of hearing you people

Tired of hearing you people whine so much. Most of the people I talk to in the area think its a good thing. Convention attendees spend money in our town to create jobs, unless you are creating jobs with all your whining just shut up! The rest of us are tired of hearing it.

Orchestrated event

By the convention center advocates who are trying to sell this white elephant since day one. I recently passed by this center and it is not a very impressive looking facility from the outside. One event does not spell success. It will be like a majority of the centers in the country ....a failure. Taxpayer money is not being used to build the center but eventually you will come into the picture to subsidize this money pit. Convention goers beware. We have a crime problem that is not acknowledged by our city officials so do not stray to far and travel in groups . If you like beer joints and arts and crafts , you will enjoy your stay !

Ridiculous City Council

Only in government can get in the paper for doing your job. This is a non event and the real story is counting down the real cost of the project, including the bond to be paid back, corporate incentives, lost revenue due to a botched hotel deal,cost of employees/ benefits which have been laid out by the taxpayer on this folly. Where is the deficit countdown. Saffo is stating a 2.3 million dollar windfall, keep saying that when you try your next annexation.

Ridiculous Achievement

This is such a non story that people get in the paper for doing their government job. Where is the report on the deficit of money which needs to be paid back to bond holders. The real story is one convention does not make a sustainable center. Oh and did you tell them about their cocktails being served in paper cups.