Comment 66379

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2011 at 16:05:06 in reply to Comment 66369

If convention business is mainly May-August, it's a novel solution, then. My understanding from the recent audit was that the 30-year-old Convention Centre's limiting factor was that it was one of the smallest such facilities in the province, offering 52,314 sq ft of rentable space, only marginally larger than the 8-year-old London Convention Centre (43,357 sq ft). But downtown London has almost two-and-a-half times the convention-quality hotel rooms of downtown Hamilton. An 8-month residence might get around this issue, but it seems to me that increased convention centre competition from other communities – and from postsecondary institutions and other local hotels – has to explain in part why trade show and convention traffic doesn't end up here.

It's certainly an endangered facility, though: KPMG notes that "The Convention Centre's payroll over the last four years is virtually 100% of event revenue and substantially higher than the comparative set." In 2010, it was 98.5%; its 2007-2010 average was over 91% of gross revenue, while payroll at "similarly sized convention centres" for the same period averaged out at just over 45% of gross revenue. That suggests that they have little opportunity to engage in dynamic pricing to lure in events, a hurdle that is independent of local hotel stock. And it's not getting any younger.

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