Dayton transfers ownership of convention center

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County commissioners voted Tuesday to allow the creation of the Montgomery County Convention Facilities Authority. The entity will be charged with taking over control and ownership of the Dayton Convention Center.

The city of Dayton agreed to transfer their control over to the group, going into a mutual agreement with the county. It’ll mark the first time since the convention center opened that it will not be run and operated by the city.

A study released this year said the Dayton Convention Center is in need of more than $20 million in improvements. That study also recommended an overhaul in ownership and operation. 

“Our hoteliers and people who are in the entertainment industry, we want them to come into the valley and be really proud of what we have,” said Michael Colbert, Montgomery County administrator.

Under the agreement, an 11 member board will take over. They will be appointed by Montgomery County commissioners, the Dayton mayor, and other mayors of the other county municipalities. All should be appointed by the end of the year

“It allows us to really have a professional operation, professional management, a professional facility to actually run and drive the convention center,” Colbert said.

For now, the city of Dayton will continue collecting a lodging tax but will transfer that money to the convention facilities authority. Montgomery County will transfer over $200,000 for the next three years. 

“This allows the CFA to get an opportunity to get up and running, to hire an executive director, to hire staff,” Colbert said.

This move could make it more expensive to stay in Montgomery County hotels. The CFA has the authority to increase the lodging tax by up to 3 percent.

“So that they can essentially issue bonds, so those bonds can be used for the renovation and the enhancement of the facility,” Colbert said.

The board will have until the end of next year to decide on a potential increase. 

All this work is in the hopes this old convention center can be brought back to life. 

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