Upgrades in the works for Paducah convention and expo center

Upgrades are in the works for the convention center you use for parties, weddings and more.

"That’s what’s going to make people come here," said AQS QuiltWeek Executive Show Director Bonnie Browning.

QuiltWeek is the Julian Carroll Convention Center’s biggest event. Now the convention center wants to attract even more people and events to Paducah.

Tens of thousands of quilters from around the world walk through the doors of the convention center and Bill & Meredith Schroeder Expo Center every year. This venue is one of many Browning has seen, traveling to quilt weeks across the nation.

"Basically, we have good tables and chairs at those other facilities. So, we just need to make sure that we get ours brought up to speed," Browning said.

Julian Carroll Convention Center Director of Operations Chuck Tate agrees. Tate says over the past four years, the convention center has bought new chairs, but when hosting a big event, they have to bring out old, broken and sometimes dangerous chairs from used when the Executive Inn was still open.

Tables and chairs are just some of the upgrades he wants to make. Other improvements include lighting, new administrative offices and repairs to water damage. 

"You have to make investments in this property to keep the events coming to keep the big shows coming to stay competitive in the industry," Tate said.

He says it’s important to keep people coming into the area, filling hotel rooms, because that’s what generates the taxes used to maintain the venues for the events you and the crowds enjoy.

The upgrades are part of the convention center’s 10-year capital improvement plan. Between the dome’s relocation and those improvements, the next bond issue will be up to $2.9 million. After paying off the dome, $1.5 million will be left for projects at the convention center 

Tate says committees will start meeting in the next few weeks to talk about all of the costs. He hopes come January or February we’ll start noticing some changes. Tate says it will take years before all the improvements they want are made.

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