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Visitors bureau to release Lancaster convention center report

By , - Last modified: June 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM

The Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau has set a release date for its report on the Lancaster County Convention Center.

The public is invited to a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the convention center, bureau President and CEO Chris Barrett said in a statement. There, the bureau will present the findings of its convention center task force and recommendations for action endorsed by the bureau's board.

The bureau's report follows one presented last month by Convention Sports & Leisure International, a consultant retained by the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority, the public entity that oversees the center's operations.

The convention center has $64 million in bond debt, and its share of the county hotel tax has proved insufficient to cover its debt service, raising serious concerns about its financial future. CS&L principal John Kaatz, lead author of the firm's study, recommended raising the hotel tax to meet the center's near-term obligations and finding other sources of revenue, such as a restaurant tax or county sales tax, to offset the center's deficits permanently.

County hoteliers have said they oppose a further increase in the hotel tax to support the center, which they say has not benefited them.

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