Springfield's Convention Attraction Task Force has selected Chicago-based Hunden Strategic Partners to conduct a competitive assessment of the city's convention industry, including examination of the vacant lot downtown between the Expo Center and developer John Q. Hammons' parking garage.
The city, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and JQH Hotels & Resorts will jointly pay the consulting firm $39,000 for its services, according to CVB's December newsletter.
Hunden already has begun work and is expected to complete the project in eight to 10 weeks.
The assessment will compare Springfield to other cities that have convention and expo events and make recommendations for the city to remain competitive in attracting such events. It will also determine the best use of the vacant lot next to the Expo Center and recommend improvement strategies for Expo Center revenue.
Once completed, the city will re-examine the property agreement with JQH to determine its course of action on the vacant lot.
JQH was given sole concession rights to the city's Expo Center in 2003, and the center has had two years of net profit since, according to Springfield Business Journal coverage