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$72 Million Monroe Convention Center Expansion Moving Forward

Additional banquet halls and hotel would be built here with a tube bridge connecting to the original space.

Photo: Joe Hren

Additional banquet halls and hotel would be built here with a tube bridge connecting to the original space.

Plans to expand Bloomington’s Monroe Convention Center are moving forward.

The convention expansion commission members are recommending a $72 million proposal from Indianapolis-based Sun Development.

The expansion includes a 224 room Embassy Suites hotel and more than 70-thousand square feet of convention space.

Commission member and Bloomington Deputy Mayor Mick Renneisen says the $37 million hotel would be funded as a private investment.

The convention center expansion would cost about $35 million. Money for that would come from a one-percent food and beverage tax increase.

“We think everybody wins. The city, downtown gets refurbished, expanded convention center – more business occurs with the result of that investment, the county spends its percentage on appropriate uses they think are most important for county residents,” Renneisen says.

The county council would have to approve the tax increase.

Renneisen says the proposed plan allows for the most flexibility to further expand.

“Bloomington is the second most highly desirable destination for tourists in the state of Indiana for convention business behind Indianapolis and we have the smallest convention space,” Renneisen says.

County commissioners will hear the expansion recommendation at Wednesday’s meeting, and vote on whether to send the plan to the county council.

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