These are good days for Greater Boise Auditorium District.
The district is within a few months of wrapping up a three-phase, $47.5 million expansion of Boise Centre, its convention venue on The Grove Plaza. A concourse connecting the original Boise Centre building, located on the southwest side of the Grove, to Boise Centre East, a new building on the southeast side that’s the centerpiece of the expansion, is done now.
Last year, the district took in a record $6.3 million from its 5 percent tax on hotel room rentals, and it’s beating that pace over the first two months of this year.
A study completed last month estimates Boise Centre and the events held there are responsible for injecting $22.7 million into the local economy every year.
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Occupancy in Boise hotels is up. Hotel room rates are up — by 40 percent since 2011, executive director Pat Rice said.
And more good news is on the way. Between now and the end of the year, several new hotels are expected to open within walking distance of Boise Centre. That likely will bring even more hotel tax money into the district while making it easier to book major events.
All this comes while various government and private groups are trying to convince the district to put its considerable financial weight behind a proposal to build a Downtown stadium for minor-league baseball, soccer, concerts, festivals and other events.
Will the district’s financial strength embolden its board of directors to support the proposal? The two members of its board of directors, Hy Kloc and Judy Peavey-Derr, who are up for election this year, say they’re intrigued by the idea of building a stadium. Of the two, Kloc sounded more bullish.
Two challengers, Kristin Muchow and Scott Mecham, are running for the two seats Kloc and Peavey-Derr hold now. The top two vote-getters will win. Mecham didn’t comment to the Idaho Statesman on the stadium. Muchow, like Peavey-Derr, said the general idea of a Downtown stadium is interesting, but she needs to know more details to know whether she supports this proposal.
The election is May 16.