The Anaheim City Council tonight authorized the Anaheim Housing and Public Improvements Authority to issue bonds for expanding the Anaheim Convention Center to meet current and future needs of Anaheim’s convention and tradeshow industry. Since opening in 1967, revenues generated by the Anaheim Convention Center and related activities have consistently supported overall City services, thereby improving the quality of life for Anaheim’s residents.
The proposed Anaheim Convention Center expansion project encompasses the addition of 200,000 square feet of flexible meeting space for hosting concurrent events, capturing new meeting groups and retaining the large annual events, plus the replacement of Car Park 1. The current Anaheim Convention Center has limited meeting space opportunities and limits the ability to accommodate concurrent events.
It is conservatively estimated that the City’s General Fund would be better off by $115 million over the next decade and $320 million over a 30-year period by expanding, as determined by an outside consultant (Crossroads Consulting Services).
Each year the City generates millions of dollars due to the large annual events booked at the Anaheim Convention Center. Attendance over the past five years averages nearly 1.1 million guests at Convention Center events alone. This translates to hotel room stays, dining, shopping and entertainment for those guests, many of whom use the opportunity to plan a family vacation or extend their stay to enjoy Anaheim and Orange County’s many amenities.
In 2010, the City Council, by Resolution, established the Anaheim Tourism Improvement District (ATID) for the promotion of local tourism and convention-related programs. Hoteliers in the Anaheim Resort agreed to self-assess 2% of hotel room rent within the ATID boundaries for projects in the Anaheim Resort. The creation of the ATID relieved the City’s General Fund of $6 million annually, beginning in 2010, and directed these dollars to pay for this Anaheim Convention Center expansion project. Assuming TOT revenues would grow at a conservative estimate of 3%, it is estimated that the value of the ATID would be approximately $450 million, and is greater than estimated lease payments on the bond issuance.
To ensure that the incremental new revenues would be available for General Fund programs, the City Council approved a financing plan that keeps the General Fund’s annual lease payment obligations for capital improvements where they are today.