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City Council Gives ConVis Formal OK On Booking Agreement

This week the San Diego Convention Center is home to the world famous Comic-Con, but it’s also the site of some controversy.

Concept photo of the proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.
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Above: Concept photo of the proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.

Today, the San Diego City Council formalized an agreement to move some booking and marketing responsibilities from the city, to a private corporation, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, or ConVis.

When the council voted in March to shift the booking and marketing job to ConVis, opponents charged the public could be short-changed.

City Councilman David Alvarez was the lone vote against the switch. He said on KPBS at the time that he’s concerned hotel and restaurant owners will steal the business of marketing the Convention Center from the public, which could ultimately cost taxpayers.

But Joe Terzi, president and CEO of ConViz, said on KPBS' Midday Edition that the Convention Center benefits when hotel business is robust.

"The Center has done a really good job. I do believe that there is an opportunity to improve the sales and marketing of the building to generate more overnight hotel rooms annually," he said.

A portion of the hotel-tax hike, recently approved by city council, will go toward an expansion of the Convention Center, set for completion in 2017.

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