Contributing to the economic vitality of Lancaster by providing an inviting,
world-class business and event destination for guests.

Strategic Priorities

Third Class County Convention Center Authority Act of 1994 and Municipal Authority Act of 1945

The purpose of a convention center should be the promotion, attraction, stimulation, development and expansion of business, industry, commerce, and tourism in the county seat, the surrounding counties and the Commonwealth as a whole.

The Lancaster County Convention Center should provide direct benefits to:

  • The hotel industry
  • The restaurant and entertainment industries
  • Other businesses that serve the convention/tourism industry

Pre-Construction Vision for the Lancaster County Convention Center:

  • Create a meaningful and sustainable development that will revitalize a long ignored section of the City of Lancaster, PA
  • Promote the redeployment of the adjacent historic Stevens/Smith/Kleiss Saloon properties and the Watt & Shand building
  • Enhance the surrounding quadrant around Penn Square within the overall revitalization efforts of our community

General Overview of Integrated Facility Ownership & Operations

Lancaster County Convention Center Authority (LCCCA)

  • Meeting space – boardrooms , meeting rooms, ballrooms – from 4th floor through to Vine Street Lobby
  • Exhibit Hall
  • Main Kitchen serving the restaurant and catering
  • Thaddeus Stevens, Lydia Hamilton Smith, Kleiss Saloon properties

Penn Square Partners (PSP – Penn Square General Corporation, an affiliate of the High Companies; and limited partner Penn Square Ltd., an affiliate of Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.)

  • Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square (Floors 5-19)
  • Rendezvous Lounge/Penn Square Grill
  • Lease 3rd & 4th floor meeting rooms and ballroom from LCCCA
  • Catering services throughout the integrated facility
  • Montgomery House

Joint Ownership

  • Great Room ( Penn Square Lobby)
  • 4th Floor Interstate Hotels & Resorts office space

Interstate Hotels & Resorts operates under separate contracts with the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority and Penn Square Partners. (Interstate Hotels & Resorts also manages the Jointly Owned Property)

Lancaster County Convention Center Authority Financial Structure

Debt Structure

  • $63.9 million bond issue
  • Bonds marketed by Wells Fargo (sold publicly)
  • M&T Bank; Trustee
  • Manages and performs all actions as described in the bond indenture
  • Receives proceeds from Hotel Room Revenue Tax which funds reserves
  • Pays expenses from reserves

How Hotel Room Rental Tax is distributed

  • County Receives Hotel Room Rental Tax (monthly)
  • Hotel Room Rental Tax is deposited into M&T Bank (Trustee)
  • Predetermined amount is deposited into LCCCA’s Operating Administrative Account

Lancaster County Convention Center Operational Revenues

Main Sources of Operational Revenue:

  • Meeting/Ballroom/Exhibit Hall Rent (revenue for space rental in Convention Center)
  • Audio Visual Revenue (revenue clients pay for AV Service)
  • Food & Beverage Commissions (commissions for food services)
  • Service Charges (a percentage charged for services)
  • Equipment Rental – Exhibits (rental of exhibit equipment i.e. tables, chairs, draping etc.
  • Equipment Rental – Conference (rental of conference equipment i.e. staging, podiums, etc.
  • Electrical/Mechanical Revenue (electrical or plumbing connections)
  • Concession Stand (sales of food and beverages excluding catering)
  • Security Services (event security services)
  • Other Services

Lancaster County Convention Center and Hotel Facility Statistics

Integrated Convention Center and Hotel Facility

  • Almost 3 acres of real estate
  • 451,940 square feet
  • 90,000 square feet of meeting space including 46,000 square feet in the exhibit hall, ballrooms, meeting rooms, and pre-function space
  • Over 200 employees (over 65% are City of Lancaster residents)
  • 11 elevators
  • 3 banks of escalators
  • 10,000 square feet in Great Room ( Penn Square lobby)
  • 12,000 pound capacity freight elevator
  • 32 feet of ceiling height in exhibit hall
  • 88 toilets in public restrooms
  • 111 year old Watt & Shand façade

Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square

  • 299 rooms

Historic Properties

  • Thaddeus Stevens properties
    • office, residence, and Kleiss Saloon
    • Recognized by the National Park Service with inclusion on the “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Listings”
  • Lydia Hamilton Smith properties
    • boarding houses
  • Montgomery House – one of the first Federal Design homes, 206 years old

Permanent Art Collection

The Lancaster County Convention Center Authority supports the rich cultural heritage of Lancaster through its on-site permanent art collection. A committee of local art professionals selected the 14 piece collection from works by 13 local artists.

Lancaster County Convention Center Authority’s Mission & Outcome – 2011 to 2015

Mission

Provide an inviting, well managed, and well maintained Lancaster County Convention Center facility for guests.

Outcome

Lancaster County Convention Center contributes to the economic development of the City of Lancaster and Lancaster County.

Lancaster County Convention Center Authority’s Fiduciary Responsibilities and Financial Realities

Lancaster County Convention Center Authority’s Fiduciary Responsibilities

Provide direct benefits to:

  • Hotel industry
  • Restaurant and entertainment industry
  • Businesses that serve the convention/tourism industries
  • Manage the LCCCA’s strategic relationship with its issuing and trustee banks
  • Work cooperatively with Pa Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau to promote tourism
  • Work cooperatively with Penn Square Partners to promote tourism
  • Manage the LCCCA’s physical and fiscal assets
  • Ensure appropriate checks and balances to provide good financial stewardship
  • Provide oversight of Interstate Hotels & Resorts Convention Center operations and contract
  • Conduct public board and committee meetings

Lancaster County Convention Center Authority’s Financial Realities

The LCCCA has control over the following:

  • Administrative expenses
  • Contract with Interstate Hotels & Resorts
  • Historic properties (Thaddeus Stevens properties, Lydia Hamilton Smith properties, and Swan Hotel)

The LCCCA does not have control over the following:

  • Interest rate fluctuations
  • Overall economic climate
  • Hotel Room Rental Tax
  • Unexpected, significant increases in utility rates

Lancaster County Convention Center Authority Accomplishments

2009

  • Opened the Lancaster County Convention Center on June 19, 2009 ( fulfilling the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority’s original mission)

2010

  • Hosted 6 “Priority One” events (resulting in overflow rooms to county hotels) — Priority One – 500 room nights on peak nights
  • Hosted 6 “Priority Two” events — Priority Two – 350 room nights on peak nights
  • Hosted over 800 total event days
  • Hosted over 200 various organizations
  • Served over 300,000 Convention Center guests
  • 70% of booked group business was new to Lancaster County

Significant Events to Date

  • First Convention — Pennsylvania League of Cities
  • Largest Convention in Lancaster County history — AQS Quilt Show and Contest with 24,080 guests
  • Largest Seated Dinner at the Convention Center — 2009 Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner with 2,300 guests
  • Largest Theatre Event McCaskey High School Graduation — 4,350 guests
  • Largest Multiple Session Seated Event at the Convention Center — John Hagee Ministries with 12,000 guests over 1.5 days
  • Largest Two-Day Gate Show — Commerford Zoo with 9,800 guests admitted

Strategic Priorities & Key Performance Indicators

Strategic Priorities

  • Assure LCCCA’s long- term financial sustainability
  • Cultivate strategic working relationships
  • Inform and educate the public regarding the LCCCA’s structure and operations
  • Inform and educate the public regarding the LCCCA’s finances
  • Advocate for retaining existing tourism attractions, lodging facilities, and events
  • Advocate for new and more tourism attractions, lodging facilities, and events
  • Attract Priority One and Priority Two events (Priority One – 500 room nights on peak nights; Priority Two – 350 room nights on peak nights)
  • Advocate for implementation of county wide conference, service, and event fees
  • Advocate for necessary infrastructure to support the Convention Center
  • Maintain the development potential of the LCCCA’s historic properties
  • Appropriately develop the LCCCA’s historic properties

Key Performance Indicators

  • Meet annual financial budgets
  • Meet bond financing requirements
  • Survey response indicate greater understanding of the LCCCA’s structure and operations
  • Survey response indicate greater understanding of the LCCCA’s finances
  • Number of Priority One and Priority Two events
  • Guest satisfaction survey results

Clarification of the Greatest Misunderstandings about the Convention Center

The information below is based on response to a Lancaster County Convention Center Authority survey distributed in April 2011 to Lancaster County business and community leaders.

Who paid for the Convention Center?

FALSE:

  • City of Lancaster
  • Lancaster County
  • Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster
  • Penn Square Partners

TRUE:

  • Lancaster County Convention Center Authority publicly issued $63M bonds
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided $19.5M
  • Pennsylvania taxpayers through the Commonwealth’s $19.5M grants (DCED/RACP)

Assisted with Payment

  • City of Lancaster waived fee and permit costs
  • Lancaster County guarantee of the bond issue

Who is paying for the constructed Convention Center’s operational costs?

FALSE:

  • City of Lancaster
  • Lancaster County
  • Taxpayers

TRUE:

  • Revenues from events
  • The Hotel Room Rental Tax which is paid by individuals who stay at Lancaster County hotels. A significant percentage of these hotel guests are from outside of the Lancaster County and City area, or are from out-of-state.