Reminder That Resort Area Is A REGIONAL Economic Engine

Convention CenterThe OC Register ran an article the other day headlined, “Big Conventions Mean Big Bucks For OC.”

The illustrative focus is the big NAMM convention that comes to the Anaheim Convention Center each year:

?An estimated 95,000 visitors – equivalent to a city the size of Mission Viejo – will descend on Anaheim for the three-day private music industry meeting.

While NAMM gets a lot of attention because of its size and star power, the gathering is just one of the big events at the Anaheim Convention Center that attract thousands of visitors to Orange County every year.

The top five shows bring a combined 285,000 people to Anaheim and inject an estimated $226 million into the economy. That is more than 45 percent of the estimated $494 million spent by all Anaheim convention visitors last year.”

This is useful to keep in mind as the city looks ahead to expanding the Convention Center. The question isn’t whether or not the city should be in the convention business. That’s like getting ready to deliver a baby and asking whether it was a good idea to get pregnant.

The real question is how to ensure the Convention Center remains an attractive destination in the very competitive convention and conference industry. Anaheim is always trying to lure big conventions from other cities — think of efforts to woo Comicon from San Diego. By the same token, other cities are trying to lure events like NAMM away from Anaheim. Other destination cities are not standing still. Inertia is a recipe for becoming less competitive, for losing business to other cities, and diminishing the value of the investment the city as already made in the Convention Center — not to mention the Resort Area itself — with real-world consequences for the pocketbooks of those whose livelihood is connected to the Resort Area, and on the city’s ability to maintain needed services.

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  1. The City of Anaheim has confirmed to me that the Convention Center operates at a loss every year. The city needs to get out of this business altogether. That goes for the Honda Center as well which generates no revenue every year but enriches the operator Henry Samueli.

  2. Matthew Cunningham

    Dude, you really are clueless. the shame is it takes ten times the time and energy to correct misinformation and cluelessness as it does to commit the errors in the first place.

  3. Matt – you never dispute anything I write instead you resory to name calling. I have all of the e-mail between myself and Ruth Ruiz to prove it. I’ve also spoken to the City Finance Director and Mayor Tait on the subject. You are the one spreading lies and misinformation.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      I do and did dispute it. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume the Convention Center operates at an annual loss. If it were shut down, as you advocate, then presumably the city’s revenues would be positively impacted.

      Which would be an incorrect presumption, since the impact would be negative since all the tax revenue the city generates from convention-relation business would also evaporate – among other deleterious consequences of following your suggestion. Has something that obvious not occurred to you?

      The question of whether the city should be in the convention business was relevant when the city was deciding whether or not to build the convention center. Now it is an academic one.

      Also, Henry Samueli isn’t enriched by his ownership of the Ducks. The city is fortunate to have him as the Ducks owner. You are not only clueless, but heedless of the consequences of the policies for which you advocate.

  4. No you call names and make no effort to dispute the facts other then to say I am wrong. You never offer any evidence to back-up your disputes. For example, above you say I am clueless and spouting off misinformation, then I come back and tell you my sources and you offer no rebuttal.

    The City should sell the Convention Center to a private company. I did not advocate for it’s demise. I simply feel it is not in the cities best interest to have a property that is not a revenue generation. The City would still reap the benefit of TOT revenue generated from conventions.

  5. Young has gotten Old

    Sir, it seems that you have a deep rooted hate and obsession that is far beyond the norm regarding Anaheim and these sorts of issues. It isn’t healthy. Please consider taking a break from the internet. You now have an opportunity to enjoy a clean start in your new city of Fullerton and to allow those who love Anaheim to live in peace.

  6. Matthew Cunningham

    The disposition of the Convention Center is, of course, up the the City Council, and the voters can hold them accountable on those decisions. Contracting out the operation of the Convention Center is something the city might want to look at as a way of reducing operating costs — although I don’t think your friends at the OCEA would care much for that approach. A Councilman John Leos would certainly have opposed it. Selling the Convention Center is a more radical approach, and I doubt there is the political will to do it, or the political support among residents for it.

  7. Jason Young and his many alias personalities claims he meets with Mayor Tait to discuss the concention center – that is laughable…Mayor Tait is on record applauding the convention center’s success for the rise in hotel occupancy and TOT at the city. Mr. Young – seriously – get a life!

  8. AnaheimFirst – Many aliases? What are you talking about? I have spoken to Mayor Tait on many occasions concerning the lack of revenue generated by the venues owned by the city and various other issues.

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