Dayton Convention Center to be run by new joint city, county board

UPDATE, 3:46 p.m.: Montgomery County has agreed to create a new entity to own and operate the Dayton Convention Center, a joint city and county board that will have the power to increase the county lodgings tax to pay to upgrade the aging facility.

The move has been hailed as an important step to ensuring the convention center will have the funding needed to make capital investments to keep the facility competitive and attract more business.

Until now, the city of Dayton alone had owned the convention center.

The new Montgomery County Convention Facilities Authority will have until the end of next year to decide what kind of tax levy it wants to impose, up to a 3 percent cap.

EARLIER REPORT: Hotel bed tax could help save Dayton Convention Center

The city of Dayton has committed to giving all of its revenue from its 3 percent lodging tax to the convention center through the end of 2060

FIRST REPORT: Montgomery County Commissioners this afternoon will consider a resolution regarding the future of the Dayton Convention Center.

The city of Dayton has previously asked Montgomery County for help funding the Convention Center operations and maintenance.

Today’s resolution would establish a Montgomery County Convention Facilities Authority, and the measure says Dayton would transfer ownership of the Dayton Convention Center, 22 East Fifth Street, to the new entity.

The convention facilities authority would be governed by a board of directors with 11 members appointed by the county commissioners, the mayor of Dayton and the mayors of other municipalities that have a stake in the Dayton Convention Center.

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Dayton is the only large or mid-size city in Ohio that owns and operates a convention center. Others are operated by authorities similar to what Dayton wants the county to establish, officials have said.

In December 2018, the 24-member Dayton Convention Task Force suggested increasing the county lodging tax to 6% from 3%, a move that could generate about $3 million more a year.

Some suburban areas in the summer objected to the lodging tax proposal. Those areas have more than 80 percent of lodging rooms in the county, Miami Twp. Trustee Donald Culp said then.

The convention center, built in 1973, has 150,000 square feet of floor space and 77,000 square feet of exhibit space.

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