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"There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as "caring" and "sensitive" because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to try to do good with other people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he'll do good with his own money -- if a gun is held to his head."--P. J. O'Rourke
I want to echo the point made by JackDeuce.
I have attended in the range of 100 conventions, training events, trade shows, etc. across this country from Palm Desert CA to New York NY. The one common thread in the location of all of them was air service accessibility. If the goal is to attract organizations (business or other) to hold events in Victoria the biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is convincing them to fly their attendees into Houston, San Antonio, Austin or Corpus and then drive from these cities to Victoria by-passing multiple event facilities on the drive from the airport(s).
If (big if) a facility existed in Victoria that could handle even 300 attendees and half of them had to travel by air from another location it would take three days of current air service to Victoria just to get them here (and another three days to get them out). Any event center located in Victoria will serve Victoria and a fairly small radius of outlying cities.
The second point is the hard cold fact that the current community center is not self-supporting financially. Will a bigger and better venue bring bigger and better usage with MUCH bigger fees to the point of being financially viable? If private business wants to take this gamble (and reap the financial rewards if successful), so be it. Public tax dollars should be used for general welfare, health, morals, and safety of the City and its inhabitants and not for the benefit of private enterprise.
Jack has a very valid point.....Victoria could have a state of the art convention center but without a direct, cost effective way to get there, large scale events will opt for a bigger city for convenience. Victoria will still only draw from Victoria & surrounding areas.
Not to mention the community center totally lacks for things such as concerts (terrible sound system and acoustics and too low of a clearance for adequate lighting), rodeo (found to be dangerous for any type of true professional rodeo), sporting events (even boxing and wrestling which dont take a whole lot, but do need occasional arena style seating). These types of events may not be conventions, but do bring out of town dollars as well as in town spending. Some say Victoria is too small, but look at what some of the smaller towns have in this study. I hate to tell you this doubleckr, pure convention centers, expo centers, etc typically are not privately funded. Hotel/conference centers yes they are privately funded...but I even question the need for them. Convention centers/arena/expo centers are typically built by public finances. As a taxpayer, I say put us in.
Thanks for the comment, double. I'm not arguing one way or the other. The study, though, points out that out-of-town guests are great economic drivers and the VCC is primarily used by local folks.
The thinking goes that if you have a convention center with an associated hotel, you can better attract those out-of-towners who spend money.
Thanks again -- Gabe