Increased hotel tax could raise revenue for revamped convention - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Increased hotel tax could raise revenue for revamped convention center

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Some tourism officials are dreaming up a $900 million plan to revamp downtown Memphis.

Right now, the plan isn't even in the works, but a new hotel tax could make it a reality by raising the funds to create a top-of-the-line convention center.

However, another plan with a much smaller price tag seems a little more plausible. Tourism officials say they hope to turn the Memphis Cook Convention Center into a state of the art attraction.

The Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau pitched their idea to City Council members this afternoon. Their goal is to push the convention center further west, toward the edge of the harbor, and add new hotels.

The $54 million it would take to complete this renovation would come from an increase in city lodging tax.  

The increased tax would could bring in up to $5 million per year toward the project. 

Many Memphians said the new center would help bring more people to the city.

"Bring more people in," said Lee Echols. "And we need to be more hospitable with the people that come to Memphis."

The final reading on the tax is scheduled for the first City Council meeting in September.

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