NOTE: This article which highlights Chamber CEO Eric Spoonmore was published on August 4, 2022 WFIU by Joe Hren.
Monroe County’s convention center business is back to pre-pandemic levels and city leaders are looking to revive the struggling expansion project.
Bloomington city leaders want to take over the convention center expansion project by purchasing the existing building and land from the county.
At this week’s county commissioner meeting, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce President Eric Spoonmore presented what he calls a ‘win-win’ for all parties.
“The city is willing to reasonably compensate the county in order to do this,” Spoonmore said. “This will provide much needed resources for county government to pursue other high priority projects, such as the new quarry park that we’re excited about.”
The proposal was presented during public comment. Talisha Coppock, executive director at Downtown Bloomington, Inc., also spoke on the importance of the project.
“The building will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. But tourism and hospitality industries are a natural fit for this community,” Coppock said.
Monroe County Council passed a food and beverage tax increase in 2017 to fund the expansion. Since then, it’s taken in more than $14 million dollars – most of which goes to the city.
No dollar amounts were given in the city’s offer to buy the assets. Spoonmore says more details will be discussed at the county council meeting next week.
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