I’m going to get this out there on the front end; people who spend the nights in our hotels should pay for the Dome relocation.
Let me explain as simply and briefly as I can. As you know there is always a Transient Room Tax wherever you stay in a hotel. This tax is 6% in Kentucky. 3% to the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1% to the operation of the Convention/Expo Center and 2% to the debt service of convention facilities in the downtown area. Not including the three announced new hotels, the Transient Room Tax is growing at 3% per year, and that is a very conservative number.
We are not going to water last year’s crops on what might have been. What do we know today? Paducah has a contract for adequate Quilt Show space. The April Quilt Show is 5 months distant. Quilters love the Dome. I am committed to the Quilt Show. Kentucky Tourism Department numbers put the tourism dollars at north of $25 million dollars from visitors representing 46 of our 50 states. You may also throw in 10 foreign countries. However, the Convention/Expo Center is far from having a “no space available” sign out the rest of the year.
I’m pretty sure you like my fiscally conservative ways. I haven’t gone off the rails on this one, I assure you. The Convention Center Board has voted to accept the Dome. This is a more fiscally conservative step than contracting for building out the old “Showroom” Lounge at a cost of up to $6 million depending on level of finish. Now, the McCracken County Fiscal Court has to allow the Transient Room Tax to pay for three bonds to make this happen. Briefly, these bonds will pay for relocation the Dome in 2016. In 2020, bonds will be used for Convention Center upgrades, and bonds in 2023 will do additional Convention Center upgrades The Transient Room Tax will pay off the bonds in 2032.
The Convention Center has a contract to provide convention space, meaning the city is obligated to pay for the relocation expense. But why not let the Transient Room Tax, a tax that is paid by non-residents, pay for the Dome relocation. I’m asking the Fiscal Court to vote yes, to help the Convention Center Board to get this done.
This is the real beauty of the Dome.