[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The Phoenix Convention Center will host many blockbuster events this year, but the recession may hurt its ability to attract events in 2010 and beyond. Future convention bookings aren’t rolling in as fast as they did last year, and it appears that meeting planners are booking fewer events than expected. For that reason, the city plans as soon as next month to offer select clients a discount of as much as 25 percent on rental fees. The incentive comes just five months after the publicly funded $600 million expansion tripled the size of the buildings on the 26-acre convention-center campus.
Conventions are crucial because they bring in thousands of tourists who sleep in Valley hotel rooms, fill nearby restaurants and shop in local boutiques. Also, those visitors make side trips to other Valley cities and destinations around the state. “We are all worried because we have a global recession that we are involved in and that impacts everything, including the convention business,” said John Chan, director of the Phoenix Convention Center. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]