Fate of convention center renovation uncertain due to coronavirus crisis

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ST. LOUIS – The nation’s convention business was dealt a crushing blow from the coronavirus crisis.

The St. Louis Convention Center has not been spared the pain, with layoffs and furloughs, and other cost-cutting measures.

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed says the board wants get feedback from convention center officials about their situation, what they need, and when they see a turnaround.

The massive convention center renovation project is on hold right now. Officials were supposed to reexamine the matter this month.

Reed believes the future of the project is up in the air right now.

Money to pay for that renovation had been coming from hotel taxes but hotels are getting crushed right now because of the drop in travel and conventions; that means the hotel tax revenue has plunged too. No one is sure when there will be a rebound.

Reed says there are two schools of thought at the moment: invest now for big returns later or give up on the renovation as too risky. He says he’s still trying to gather information to see which is best.

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