Mar 18, 2015
A new convention center in Billings would attract thousands more people to stay and shop, consultant Tom Hazinski said Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza.
At roughly $60 million, a convention center would be expensive and likely managed by the city or another public agency, Hazinski told about 35 business leaders during a morning meeting hosted by the Billings Chamber of Commerce.
Without an investment, Billings risks falling further behind other cities, he cautioned. Bozeman is already planning a new convention center, which could lure visitors to Gallatin County and away from Billings, he said.
“Redevelopment is essential if you want to remain competitive in this market. … Your competition is not likely to stay still,” said Hazinski, director of Chicago-based HVS Convention, Sports and Entertainment.
Hazinski conducted a monthslong, $50,000 study of costs and need for a convention center in Billings. The chamber, Visit Billings and the Tourism Business Improvement District, private hotels and the Big Sky Trust paid for the study.
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