New Convention Center Being Considered


K2's Ophelia Young reports, oyoung@k2tv.com




The city is saying, Casper is ready for a convention center. 

The visitors bureau calculates Casper is losing about 10 million dollars a year in revenue to neighboring cities because conventions we can host are going there instead.  So the city is hopping on the idea of building a first class convention center here in Casper. 

Bertoglio says the city is talking with private sectors.  Proposals are due in April and, already, about five businessmen have expressed interest.  The advantages for the chosen private business--the ability for surrounding businesses, such as hotel, to financially benefit. 
Among interested businesses, Bertoglio says, Parkway Plaza's owner Pat Sweeney may propose to expand.

As those proposals file into the city manager's office, factors such as whether a hotel will be attached to the center and whether the city will help fund construction will be considered. 

The city wants to keep the center in downtown, the Yellowstone district or by the Events Center.  Another proposed location may be closer to the golf course.  The mayor says visiting businessmen may literally fill our empty holes over there.  The major problem with that idea is that that area is contaminated with previous oil activity. 
  
Bertoglio says, once plans are in place, Casper can expect a first class convention center in the next two to three years.