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Task Force Issues Dayton Convention Center Recommendations

A task force formed last year to assess the Dayton Convention Center's facilities, financial viability and development potential has released its findings.

Demolition of the convention center was originally on the table as part of the assessment. While razing the center is still a possibility, the task force recommendations hinge on keeping the facility in place.

Soon after its formation, task-force members had enough information suggesting the Dayton Convention Center and its current building should be kept in operation, says Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Phil Parker.

“We had heard enough about the opportunities, potential successes that other communities were having, and knowing the challenges, financial and other challenges,” Parker says. “We came to a conclusion the building should be kept but there were some real needs that need to be addressed.

The convention center has faced a number of challenges in recent years, such as facilities maintenance, long term capital improvements and declining business.

Parker says those issues are addressed in the task-force recommendations. They focus on options in four strategic areas: investing in the existing center, developing a new regional ownership model, new marketing strategies, and growing potential funding sources for future development.

Now that the recommendations have been released, Parker says the convention center’s future is in the hands of Dayton city officials.

Joining the Chamber of Commerce on the task force were city and county officials, community leaders, labor-union reps, faith leaders, and members from non-profit, business, and hospitality groups.

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