A financing plan for a convention center hotel in downtown Salt Lake City easily passed the House on Tuesday, 53-21. Last year, the bill fell three votes short in that chamber.
HB356, sponsored by Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, now moves to the Senate.
The House vote came a day after the bill’s language was amended to set up a mitigation fund that existing downtown Salt Lake City hotels could tap for financial assistance if their business was hurt by the start-up of a 1,000-room hotel whose meeting rooms were financed in part with a $75 million tax-rebate incentive from Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and the state.
Earlier, County Mayor Ben McAdams assuaged the concerns of rural legislators that the hotel would only help the Wasatch Front. He added a provision setting aside additional money for a promotional campaign aimed at encouraging conventioneers to extend their trips and visit other parts of Utah.
A site hasn’t been selected for the hotel, which convention officials contend is necessary to attract more large meetings to Salt Lake City.
— Mike Gorrell
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