News & Announcements

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Exhibition Center project nearing final approval

Post Date:10/08/2015
The Appleton Common Council is set take the first of two important votes on the proposed downtown Appleton exhibition center project on Wednesday, October 21. 

The council will be asked to vote on the parameters for a room tax rate increase to support the construction of the new facility. If it passes, the nine other municipalities involved in the project will also need to approve the agreement. 

“The process, details and documents are being shared with stakeholders as soon as possible in our commitment to be collaborative and transparent,” said Mayor Tim Hanna. “Our municipal partners in this project have told us, and I agree, the City of Appleton needs to take the lead vote on the Intergovernmental Agreement and supporting documents.” 

While the final cost to build the exhibition center won’t be known until the project is bid, the City has undertaken extensive financial and cost projection modeling. The exhibition center, assuming a borrowing of $24.5 to $28 million will require a room tax rate of between 2.5% and 3.3% depending upon the financing terms. This projection further narrows the estimate to give all of the municipalities a clearer picture of what the final rate will be. It also leaves room for flexibility to lower the rate by extending the payback period on the bonds, or shorten the payback period in exchange for a higher room tax rate. Even at the high end estimate, the room tax increase will keep room tax rates well below the state statutory limit of 10%. 

“It allows the municipalities collecting the hotel room tax to set the tax level based on the true construction costs using an open, transparent process that fosters competitive bidding to insure the best price possible." 

The city’s total investment in the project will be approximately $4 million to acquire the site of exhibition center from Outagamie County and for infrastructure improvements around the site. The city has a November 30 deadline to purchase the land from Outagamie County. Prior to the purchase, Appleton must also sign off on the management agreement with the owners of the Radisson Paper Valley hotel. 

Appleton Communications Coordinator Chad Doran can be reached at (920) 832-5814
Return to full list >>