Nonprofit Newswire | Throw Convention to the Wind?

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February 1, 2010; The Record Searchlight | Redding, California, is faced with a difficult decision regarding its convention center. The largest such facility in the area, it hosts many of the locality’s nonprofit events at reduced cost but it is also running a chronic deficit of $1.2 million and is facing $2.5 million in deferred maintenance costs. Susan Heinz, a local attorney who chairs the commission charged with exploring the possibility of privatizing the facility (and possibly putting those low rates at risk) says that the process has been “eye opening” because it revealed that 57% of the 100 events hosted at the center each year are sponsored by nonprofit organizations. We’ve discussed these kinds of increasing local events costs in previous newswires. They can actually have a significant impact on the ability of some smaller nonprofits to operate. On the other hand, what is a locality to do in this extended recession . . . in California? Apparently this question in Redding is being approached very systematically.—Ruth McCambridge