Sunday, July 14, 2013

Press-Tribune: Is the Idaho Center a Nampa Asset or Money Suck?

Posted By on Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM

While visitor spending increases—approximately $10.5 million in 2006—and tax revenues top $9.7 million, some say the Idaho Center in Nampa still ought to be run like a business and shouldn't enjoy more than $1 million in subsidization from the city of Nampa.

This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune asks the question: "Is the Idaho Center a community asset or a money pit?"

Quite simply, event revenues aren't enough to keep the lights on at the Nampa venue. And since 2010, the city of Nampa has pumped more than $4.4 million into the facility to help cover the center's costs of operations, according to the Nampa Department of Economic Development.

"The parks lose money, the Civic Center loses money, the streets lose money," Nampa Mayor Tom Dale told the Press-Tribune. "But we invest money in those things because it adds quality of life to the community."

But Nampa City Council Member Bob Henry isn't convinced.

"I don't feel comfortable with having the city support the Idaho Center ... without the hope of seeing some sort of improvement," Henry told the Press-Tribune. "It does serve a purpose, but unless the citizens of Nampa are willing to maintain high taxes and high levy rates, we need to look at ways to reduce the size of the government."

The Idaho Center is set to host its highest profile event of the year: the weeklong Snake River Stampede, which runs July 16-20.

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