Senate committee unanimously backs hotel bill

Published March 7, 2014 10:53 am

Legislation • Financing for convention-center headquarters sails toward adoption.
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A bill that would provide public financing for part of a new convention-center hotel in Salt Lake City seems unlikely to meet much resistance in the Senate after being endorsed unanimously by a Senate committee Friday.

A 6-0 vote by the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services committee advanced the bill, HB356, which the House passed earlier this week, 53-21. Last year, a different incentive package passed the House but fell short by three votes in the Senate.

With three major changes this year, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and sponsors Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, and Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, defused much of the opposition.

The amount of post-performance tax rebates available from the state, Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City was reduced to $75 million — $25 million from each.

Some of the rebate was set aside for materials to be sent to conventioneers, encouraging them to visit other parts of Utah before or after meetings.

And an $8 million mitigation fund was set up to compensate existing hotels for losses incurred in the early years of the subsidized hotel's operation.

A specific site has not been selected for an 800 to 1,200 room, privately financed hotel. But it will have to be adjacent to the Salt Palace Convention Center. Public funding will go toward meeting space in the hotel that supplements what the Salt Palace has to offer.


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