SLC convention center hotel bill heads to full Senate

Posted at 12:28 PM, Mar 07, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- Lawmakers are discussing funding Friday for a new convention center hotel near the Salt Palace.

The bill failed last session, but House Bill 356 sponsors Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, and Rep. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, brought it back this year with the provision that the hotel will be built with private money.

Supporters of the bill said the Salt Palace Convention Center just isn't big enough, and they've lost out on millions of dollars from missed conventions. But critics worry about the economic impacts this new facility will have on nearby hotels.

"We created a mitigation fund, we don't think there will be an impact," Adams said. "But if there is an impact, we're able to put together a fund to be able to take care of some of those financial challenges they may have."

The Utah Lodging association, who represents 200 hotels across the state, threw their support behind the bill.

Members of the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee approved the bill Friday. Wilson and Adams are confident the full Senate will pass it. If Gov. Gary Herbert signs it, the new facility could be up and running by 2017.

FOX 13's Tamara Vaifanua was at the State Capitol Friday. Watch her full report in the clip above.