Casper Considers Convention Center Proposals
Proposals for a new convention center for Casper are being considered this week. Casper City Council got four respondents to a request for proposal that went out in April. Of those, Mayor Paul Bertoglio says they're interested in two. Both respondents, he says, have local ties and strong hospitality backgrounds. Bertoglio says at this point there are a lot of questions to be answered from both sides, but he indicates they hope to keep the process accelerated, because they're serious about capturing lost business.
"Casper is in a very unique position geographically to capture a lot of conventions. We're in the center of the state. We're also, in some regards, in the center of the region. We also see it as an opportunity for economic development in the community."
Bertoglio says, so far, they're talking location, size, and who will run it. He says the city knows it will be involved up front, but doesn't want it over the long term.
"From the city's perspective we do not want to have another Events Center on our plate. At some point we know we are probably going to participate in this initially, but long term we want this to be in the private sectors hands."
Bertoglio acknowledges that that kind public-private partnership is complicated. He says its too early to talk about how much money will be needed and potential land acquisition problems, he says, may hold things up.
He's says it will be an aggressive timeline. The parties involved hope to have a contract outlined and a sense of how to proceed by the end of the year.