Lots of growth for the Yakima Convention Center - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lots of growth for the Yakima Convention Center

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, Wash.-- Officials with the Yakima Convention Center say they've seen a lot of growth this year.

And that's not only good for the center, but for Yakima as a whole.

Convention Center President and CEO, John Cooper says that's because there usually is.

This year, they've seen a 69% occupancy rate. That's about 15% higher than 2011, a pretty big jump for just one year.

And while that means the convention center's bringing in more money for them, it also means it's bringing in a lot of money for the community. 

In fact, last year, Cooper says the center had about 150,000 visitors that spent a lot of money all over Yakima.

"It generates over $7 million in economic impact for the community. And it helps bring in people from outside the town to spend their money at wineries, restaurants, and retail," said Cooper.

He says revenues are up about 6% this year too, and he hopes that number will continue to go up.

They've already seen a 45% growth in the number of conventions they're booking for the future.

He says Yakima's central location, and affordability makes it a top choice for organizations around the state.