Three Rivers Convention Center Expansion Depends on the Voters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Three Rivers Convention Center Expansion Depends on the Voters

Posted: Updated:
The Three Rivers Convention Center brings in millions of dollars to the Tri-Cities every year. The Three Rivers Convention Center brings in millions of dollars to the Tri-Cities every year.

KENNEWICK, WA-- The Three Rivers Convention Center brings in millions of dollars to the Tri-Cities every year.

Plans to try and double the size of the convention center and the big business it brings into the region is now in the hands of the voters. Next month voters will decide if they'll pay an increased sales tax to give an expansion project a go.

Kennewick residents will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 1 on November 5th. The $20  million expansion will result in a 1/10 of 1% sales and use tax increase, which amounts to 1 cent per $10 purchase.

More than a million people have passed through the convention center since it opened almost a decade ago. All those people spend their dollars here and boost the economy. But the demand for the convention center is outgrowing its space.

"Now we're getting to the point where some of our biggest customers, which have the largest impact on our community, are starting to outgrow us and there are several more throughout the region that we're not able to attract."

Pearson says the region lost $18 million this year from conventions that just couldn't fit there.
The biggest competitor, the Spokane Convention Center, is expanding and might take away local business.

"We need to sustain what we have and make sure that those customers are not going to be leaving us. Second, there's some new business that could be pulling into the Tri-Cities region as well," said Cory Pearson, Three Rivers Convention Center executive director.

A privately funded new hotel is already planned and will be built next to the building. 

Plans for the convention center addition would add a new exhibit hall and expand the lobby. The $20 million expansion would cost tax payers an extra penny in sales tax on every ten dollar purchase.

People NBC Right Now spoke with were split on the proposal.

"All for it. I think that would be very beneficial for our community as well as our families that live here," said Sandy Nettleton.

"You get a lot of people going to Hermiston to get away from the sales tax already so to add more tax here I believe would hurt business more than it would help," said Cindee Cook.

Pearson says if the sales tax increase passes next month, construction on the convention center could start as early as next summer. 

You can count on NBC Right Now to bring you the latest developments and election night results.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Senior Times Expo changes location

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 8:56 PM EDT2018-10-17 00:56:57 GMT

    KENNEWICK, WA-  Hundreds of senior citizens attended the Senior Times Expo at the Southridge Sports & Events Complex today. The bi-annual event was at this venue for the first time since the start of the expo in 2013. 

    More >>

    KENNEWICK, WA-  Hundreds of senior citizens attended the Senior Times Expo at the Southridge Sports & Events Complex today. The bi-annual event was at this venue for the first time since the start of the expo in 2013. 

    More >>
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory partners with LanzaTech to help create new kind of fuel

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory partners with LanzaTech to help create new kind of fuel

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 8:18 PM EDT2018-10-17 00:18:45 GMT

    RICHLAND: Reducing our carbon footprint has been something that we have been striving to do for years. There there are many easy ways we can reduce our footprint, like choosing to drive less, planting a garden, or recycling. But- What about using pollution to actually fuel the way we get from point A to point B. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently partnered with a Chicago-based biotech company to create a cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel product. Lanza-T...

    More >>

    RICHLAND: Reducing our carbon footprint has been something that we have been striving to do for years. There there are many easy ways we can reduce our footprint, like choosing to drive less, planting a garden, or recycling. But- What about using pollution to actually fuel the way we get from point A to point B. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently partnered with a Chicago-based biotech company to create a cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel product. Lanza-T...

    More >>
  • Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 7:58 PM EDT2018-10-16 23:58:21 GMT

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    More >>

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    More >>