The county and its project partners have broken ground on the New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant The Dane County Board of Supervisors on Thursday unanimously approved a $150,000 contract with local consulting firm Hammes Company to perform a comprehensive study of the Alliant Energy Center’s place in the local and national event and exhibition market, as well as the Center’s capital needs, business model, strengths and weaknesses, to culminate in a report to be delivered by January 2015.
The City of Madison will contribute $30,000 toward the study, and the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau will contribute $25,000.
“I’m thrilled that a local company came through with the best proposal,” said Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “Jon Hammes and his team will bring their considerable experience and talents to the project along with their own knowledge of the Alliant Energy Center and its history, and the long history of the exhibition and convention business in Dane County. That local perspective will prove valuable, I’m sure. I look forward to their report and the opportunities to move forward with the Alliant Energy Center as an anchor for tourism and economic development throughout the Greater Madison area.”
“The Alliant Energy Center is a key asset in our destination. We appreciate the opportunity to be engaged in this conversation to insure that the very important voice of the visitor is represented,” said Deb Archer, President and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The contract calls for an analysis of the Center’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; an analysis of the exhibition business and the Alliant Energy Center’s place in it; analysis of the Center’s capital needs; an analysis of the potential of the real estate attached to the Center; and an examination of financial and governance models. These will all include extensive interviews with Alliant Energy Center staff, County staff, local tourism leaders and other stakeholders.
All analyses will include consideration of environmental sustainability and racial equity, according to the contract.
Alliant Energy Center currently hosts two major annual events -- World Dairy Expo and Midwest Horse Fair -- in addition to many concerts, sporting events, conferences and expositions.
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