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City to Consider Renovation of Convention Center

The Covington City Commission will consider on Tuesday an agenda item that would allow for the renovation of part of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

The item is described as an approval of a lease between the Bank of Kentucky as lessor and the City of Covington as lessee and a sublease between the City and the Convention Center as sublessee relating to the financing of building improvements for use by the Convention Center and authorizing the execution of  various documents related to such lease and sublease. 

The Board of Directors of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in December 2012 decided to upgrade the finishes within the Exhibit Hall located on the first floor of the Convention Center after several discussions on how to increase sales, maintain the events currently held there, and to attract additional business to the facility while working toward the center's requested facility expansion which will require approval from the Kentucky General Assembly.

A document from the Center obtained by The River City News indicates that the Exhibit Hall is the most under-utilized space within the facility due to its concrete flooring and cinderblock walls creating an industrial feel. "While this setting works for several events, the majority of the Center's business requires finished spaces, nice appointments, and carpeting," the document reads. "We believe with a redecorating of this space, the Center will be able to attract or maintain an additional $300,000 to $400,000 worth of business annually."

The Center maintains that full expansion would still be needed but that in the meantime, the internal change will help to bridge the gap while waiting for expansion funding.

The center would spend up to $2 million to enhance the appearance of the Exhibit Halls, in addition to upgrading the ballroom carpet located on the Conference Level, and giving the lobbies of the Center a more "boutique" feel through artwork and upgraded finishes.

Should the City agree to the terms, the Bank of Kentucky would loan the Center the requested funds to be paid in full by July 1, 2019.
 
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News
 
Photo: NKY Convention Center (at left) on RiverCenter Blvd/RCN file