Superior Revisits Convention Center Plans For Waterfront
Maybe this time? Although it's been kicked around before, the City of Superior is making another run at determining the feasibility of building a convention center - one that would be operated by and profited by the municipality.
At their meeting on August 17, the Superior City Council approved a measure that would allow the city to enter into an agreement with a vendor to explore the possibilities. With an approved cost of $58,500, the city would partner with Conventions, Sports and Leisure International; the costs for the city would come from the economic development fund and the Development Association.
In an article in the Superior Telegram, the details of the deal were shared. The city issued a request for proposals in June. The response to the request was answered by five entities.
A review process followed the request for proposals. A memo from City of Superior Economic Development, Port, and Planning Director Jason Serck outlines the process used in selecting Conventions, Sports and Leisure International:
"While Conventions, Sports, and Leisure International was the second-highest bidder, one of the aspects that set them apart from the others was the collaboration with the local LHB office."
The submitted responses and proposals were reviewed by Serck, Superior Mayor Jim Paine, and Superior Development Association Director Jim Caesar. Their process included a review of each proposal for "process, scale of previous projects, experience, and familiarity of the region".
Conventions, Sports and Leisure International populated towards the top of the five proposals. The review committee determined that they liked the groups previous work with the Sanford Center in Bemidji.
Superior is trying to determine the feasibility of building and operating a convention center in the city. That article in the Telegram details that "[m]any Wisconsin conventions go elsewhere in the state because Superior doesn't have a venue that meets their needs and going to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center isn't an option they chose (sic)".
Early plans for a potential convention center in Superior would see it located near the waterfront in either the "north or northwest segments of the city". A potential change of landing for a rebuilt/replaced Blatnik Bridge could factor in that determination. Proposals show a goal of building something that could "accommodate about 1,000 guests; offer two additional sheets of ice in the city that could be used for expo space; and create an arena for entertainment". The move comes as a similar-sized facility is getting set to open in Virginia, Minnesota for similar reasons.