Bozeman Convention Center Could Soon Be Reality - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Bozeman Convention Center Could Soon Be Reality

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A convention center could soon be a reality for Bozeman after being discussed in the community for nearly 35 years.

A convention center is one of 25 priorities for the city commissioners to tackle in the next couple of years.

ABC FOX Montana has been looking into the commission's goals all week.

City leaders said that not having a convention center could hurt Bozeman's economy.

The Bozeman Tourism Business Improvement District had a feasibility study done last year, and it showed a convention center would work in Bozeman.

Bozeman Chamber of Commerce President Daryl Schliem said that a convention center would pump $7.5 million in Bozeman's economy, but the city could also lose just as much if one isn't built.

"There's a study that's been done that shows the numbers that can't come here because of the facilities that we have," Schliem said. "We used to have the Airport Aviation Convention that was here."

Bozeman is already home to many conventions. They are being held in many of the newer hotels, but Schliem said that those hotels can't support these conventions if they continue to grow.

The City Commissioners made it one of their goals on Monday night to support a convention center in Bozeman.

Deputy Mayor Carson Taylor said with Bozeman's proximity to Yellowstone National Park and Big Sky Resort, a convention center would work in Bozeman.

"It is a great place for people to come do their business, and then do a little recreation, so I think we would be a very popular destination," Taylor said.

While the city isn't the main organization involved with the project, Taylor said they want to make sure it is operational.

"The city isn't going to locate it, but the city is considering we could provide services it is going to need," Taylor added.

The empty lot on North Eleventh Avenue, across from Kenyon Noble, is where the convention center would go because it is right behind five hotels.

"There are about 720 rooms that are within less than a block walking distance to the site the way the convention center looks right now," Schliem said.

Schliem said the only reason why a convention center hasn't been built is because there hasn't been money for it.

He said TBID is trying to decide now how to raise the funds to build the center, with raising the bed tax from $1 to $2 being an option.

Schliem said he hopes to have a public meeting informing people of the plans sometime in October.



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