Study concludes continued investment and promotion best way forward for Penticton Convention Centre - InfoNews

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Study concludes continued investment and promotion best way forward for Penticton Convention Centre

Continued modest investment and marketing of the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre were seen as best options for the facility following a presentation by Sierra Planning and Management consultant Jonathan Hack to Penticton city council yesterday, Oct. 18, 2016.
October 19, 2016 - 4:47 PM

PENTICTON - Put some money into the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and look further afield for markets, Penticton city council was told yesterday.

The recommendations came from Sierra Planning and Management consultant Jonathan Hack, who presented his findings to the councillors, Oct. 18, following a feasibility study and market analysis for the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

The city retained Sierra in May to conduct an analysis to find the best way to improve returns from convention centre, after the Facilities Master Plan identified the facility as needing capital improvements of $4 million over the next 10 years.

Hack discussed the convention centre’s current status and outlined possible options for its future, advising the city to look at developing a larger market within the facility’s primary trade area of the Okanagan-Similkameen, the Central and North Okanagan, which he described as having a population of 350,000.

The Penticton convention centre stacked up well against other similar venues, most of which don’t make money, he said, adding the convention centre’s value lay in “below the line” economic impacts through money spent locally by convention centre attendees.

Hack suggested the current expansion of Penticton Lakeside Resort and its convention business should be seen as a positive thing for the community, but did note that up to four annual events could end up at the Lakeside, and up to 10 events threatened.

Hack said the focus should be on growing the market rather than cannibalizing it and that Lakeside’s expansion could have a positive impact for city convention business by having two different convention options available.

He advised the city to look at improving the convention centre through such renovations as new carpet, and a new concrete floor. Second and third priorities would include an expansion of the back of the building and re-planning of meeting rooms.

Hack said the facility had limited reuse potential as an ice rink, fitness centre, library or city office complex. He also ruling out demolition of the facility as a viable option.

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