City Council to consider Convention Center fee

July 17, 2013 • Local News

City Council will hold its meeting tonight to discuss business that was cancelled last week when many councilors failed to show to a regularly scheduled meeting.

Councilors are expected to consider passing a new $2.50 per room, per night hotel and motel lodging fee to rebuild the city’s Convention Center. The ordinance was opposed strongly by the Roswell Hotel/Hospitality Association, made up of nearly every large hotel and motel establishment in the city.

Edie Stevens, of the Association, said members have met with Mayor Del Jurney since last week to discuss [auth] several issues.

“We have talked to the mayor,” Stevens said. “A lot of members are changing their minds. But we are still standing opposed.”

Other Association members could change their opinions about the extra fee by tonight’s meeting, though, Stevens said.

The city currently has a Convention Center, but the space isn’t large enough to handle major conventions, said Councilor Jason Perry last week. Many shows and performers choose to hold events in Hobbs, Ruidoso or cities in Texas because the city lacks adequate space, Perry said.

“We want 1,500 capacity and seating and we are under that,” Perry said. “We’re losing hotel nights and we’re losing vendor business and gasoline sales.”

Roswell’s facility gets plenty of interest, Perry said, but unfortunately the city has to turn down business because the city can’t accommodate certain requirements.

“If an RV show wanted to come and have an RV convention … they can’t do it in our Convention Center,” Perry said. “If we want to do a tractor show, or an agriculture convention, it can’t be done because … you can’t have those kinds of equipment on top of carpet. So we lose conventions and conferences.”

Perry said he doesn’t want the city to build something extravagant that it doesn’t need. He hears from his constituents all the time about the need for an improved space, he said.

“It makes sense to me for Roswell to stay up with the growth going on around us,” Perry said.

In other city business, the Council will also consider approving a liquor license for Third Street Station at 301 N. Railroad Ave.

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