PADUCAH — After another year of seeing less foot traffic and growing costs, Executive Show Director Bonnie Browning says the American Quilter's Society didn't have much of a choice but to cancel the 2020 Paducah Fall QuiltWeek.
"Our vendors are looking at other venues that doesn't cost them as much as it costs them to come here — and the same thing with the quilters," says Browning.
Browning says since VenuWorks took over managing the convention center, costs for electricity and Wi-Fi at vendor booths went up dramatically. Pricey hotel rooms may be another factor deterring guests.
"We had several hotels that were charging $200, and $250 and the highest one — and quilters wright descriptive words like highway robbery — one of the hotels charged $380 a night," says Browning.
Convention Center Board Chair Mark Whitlow says they hate to lose the fall quilt show. "Well, we were disappointed. We view the quilt show as one of the best projects we have," says Whitlow.
Whitlow says it simply comes down to keeping the convention center in good financial shape. "It's important to know that we never make profit on the quilt show. We lose money, and therefore we price our services at our costs," says Whitlow.
Browning says when AQS puts on shows in other cities, fees aren't as high. She hopes something will change in Paducah.
"Paducah has to compete if they want to get events in here. They have to have rates that are going to be comparable, because just like us, they are going some places," says Browning.
Paducah Spring QuiltWeek is still on for April 2020. Whitlow says they hope Fall QuiltWeek can return in the future.