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Proposals Sought For Midsized Conference Center

Natrona County-Casper Area Visitors Bureau

A midsized conference center for the city of Casper has captured the imagination of city council. A facility larger than the Parkway Plaza, but smaller than the Events Center is what they have in mind as they call for letters of proposal from anyone interested participating in its development.

“We have facilities here, and great people and great sales people, but we’re missing that one-stop-shop.”

Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, C-E-O Aaron McCreight,¬† says the numbers illustrate the need ; 10.5 million in revenue lost, because of the 50 some conferences that pass over Casper due to a lack of appropriate meeting space. However, the conversation last week at a city council work session included conflicting observations that say additional hotel rooms are not needed while a conference facility without them is not viable.

“We do not need additional rooms, but at the same time a stand-alone conference center doesn’t work. Its been shown nationwide there needs to be rooms attached. That’s gonna be the struggle in a letter of intent.¬† How do you balance the two.?”

How to pay for a midsized conference center was not part of the conversation, but in the official request for proposal the city says it’s committed to building one.

Parkway Plaza owner, Pat Sweeney, concurs with both the need for more conference space even while the city is over supplied in hotel rooms. Sweeney says his will be one of the proposals  submitted to the city. Urban renewal coordinator, Liz Becher, says they hope to get those letters of proposal in by the end of April for consideration.

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