Funding of Lancaster County Convention Center Authority
The Third Class County Convention Center Authority Act provides for funding through a county wide hotel room tax of 3.9% and an excise tax of 1.1% for a combined total of 5%.
Currently the 1.1% excise tax goes to Discover Lancaster for destination marketing. The remainder, the 3.9%, is shared, with 80% to the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority to meet the publicly owned convention center’s bond obligations and supplement operational costs and 20% going to Discover Lancaster for destination marketing. The Collaboration Agreement and Letter from PDCVB required by Collaboration Agreement control when and how Discover Lancaster receives their portion of the shared hotel room rental tax.
The Lancaster County Hotel Room Rental Tax (HRRT) is paid by transient visitors staying in county hotels for less than 30 days. It is remitted monthly as outlined in the Hotel Room Rental Tax Ordinance.
An accurate account of the convention center’s success
It is a fact that, as a significant asset in the marketing of Lancaster County as a destination, the Lancaster County Convention Center is doing very well. It employs 172 people and sells an average of 135 event days per year.
Since its opening in June of 2009, the convention center has brought more than one million guests to Freedom Hall, the 46,407 square foot Lancaster County Convention Center exhibit hall, – drawing an average of 15,000 attendees per month and generating a broad spectrum of economic growth including an average of 1,500 overflow hotel room nights per month.
“Overflow” refers to all of the Lancaster County hotel rooms needed beyond the capacity of the 299-room Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, which adjoins the convention center. Since the convention center’s opening, 40,000 room nights of primarily new business have been tracked, and this number represents only a portion of room nights brought to the county.
The economic impact of the convention center has been, and will continue to be, significant.