Egan, Dena’ina Convention Centers Lose Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in 2011
The Egan Center alone has lost more than $300,000 in 2011 so far. The Dena'ina Center is also in the red. Can they bounce back?
This week, 22 event planners from across the country are participating in the Anchorage Convention and Visitor's Bureau fall familiarization tour.
The tour includes sightseeing, facility inspections and a train ride down Turnagain Arm, and bureau representatives said it's part of a convention sales process that can take years to finalize.
If every group represented this week booked conference space in Anchorage, ACVB representatives estimate it would have more than $8 million in total economic impact on the municipality.
While the investment would effect restaurants, hotels and numerous other businesses across town, it would be especially important to Anchorage's two major convention centers.
According to a second quarter financial report presented to the Anchorage Assembly last month, the Egan Center had lost more than $300,000 in the first six months of 2011, and stands to lose nearly $750,000 by the end of the year.
The Dena'ina Center is also in the red: the first six months of this year brought nearly $90,000 in losses, and the center is projected to lose nearly $150,000 by year end.
But bureau representatives said the negative numbers are all a matter of timing: Many of this year's events were booked several years ago, when the entire country felt the pinch of a down economy.
The slow turnaround means those circumstances are just now translating to the ledger books, and it's a time frame that points to a rosier outlook several years down the road.
As the economy begins to recover and ACVB representatives continue to promote Anchorage to event planners and major organizations nationwide, they said the outlook for local convention centers is on the rise.