Montgomery County appoints 6 to Dayton Convention Center board

Montgomery County has appointed six people to the newly created Convention Facilities Authority board, which now owns and operates the Dayton Convention Center.

The joint city and county board was created in November. 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.

“Montgomery County is committed to the creation of a Convention Facilities Authority that reflects and represents the entire region, and we are thrilled to welcome these talented and diverse individuals to serve in this capacity,” said Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert. “We all benefit from a thriving tourism industry with state-of-the art event space, and this new governing body will be focused on improving our regional economy and event spaces.”

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The county commissioners appointed David Abney II, Greg Brush, Elizabeth Connor, Belinda Kenley, Jacquelyn Powell and Thomas Whelley to the Convention Facilities Authority board.

The city commission appointed C. LaShea Smith, Walter Reynolds and Kevin Wekesser to the board. Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore and Clayton Mayor Mike Stevens were selected through the Greater Dayton Mayors and Managers Association to serve on the board.

The board now has representation from the business community, the townships that have a stake in the convention center, the convention and visitors bureau and more, supporters said.

Until now, the city of Dayton alone had owned the convention center. Dayton had been the only large or mid-size city in Ohio that owned and operated a convention center.

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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. The extra revenue would go toward the Dayton Convention Center.

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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