This editorial appears in Sunday’s print edition.
Three years ago, the manager of Tacoma’s convention center was so concerned about the facility’s financial condition that he wondered whether he should start preparing to shut it down.
Today, the situation is still grim. Besides presenting a huge budget problem for city officials, it’s become the subject of an investigation by the State Auditor’s Office.
A report today by News Tribune business reporter C.R. Roberts homes in on how the $80 million Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center sank into its financial morass. Although it was never expected to break even – that’s rare among such facilities – it’s not earning nearly as much through bookings as early supporters had projected. And its two other main funding sources – from the hotel-motel tax and a cut of the state sales tax – decreased during the recession. Read more »