Jefferson City Discusses Adding New Conference Center

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JEFFERSON CITY -Jefferson City Council held a Request for Proposals (RFP) meeting Monday night. The purpose of the RFP is to find a business partner with whom the City will negotiate and work to build a conference center.

Both the City and the partner will contribute to creating the ultimate result. The City will contribute between $6-8 million toward construction of an event space to be located in conjunction with an existing hotel or a hotel to be constructed for these purposes. The City wants to construct a building of approximately 30,000-40,000 square feet. Of that, at least 25,000 square feet would be used for an event hall.

The location is not known yet. The partner would be able to request an area. The criteria for selecting a partner would be based on these factors: The hotel has a rating of at least three stars, with no less than 200 rooms; the hotel would provide adequate kitchen facilities to serve itself and the event hall; the hotel must have experience in hosting events.

The City would be willing to offer any economic development incentive which it may lawfully offer toward the construction of the event hall or improvement construction.

City administrator Nathan Nickolaus said, "We lose a lot of business. With Jefferson City being the state capital, there is a lot of state associations and state agencies that could be holding meetings here that we are currently moving elsewhere. A lot of that is just because we don't have the facilities to keep those meetings here."

Each proposer should submit a written proposal outlining its proposed concept. However, Jefferson City Council wants to approve a second draft with minor changes before beginning the search of a new partner next Monday.

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