WENATCHEE — The city made an agreement with Coast Wenatchee LLC on Thursday to help create a better downtown experience — if all goes as planned.
The city council decided to allow Coast Wenatchee to continue to manage the Wenatchee Convention Center until 2026, but that could be extended, dependent on whether Coast Wenatchee completes renovations, which could occur simultaneously as the convention center’s. Coast Wenatchee, which operates the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel, is next to the convention center and hasn’t finalized any projects yet.
Convention Center renovation
The city plans for a $14 million renovation on the convention center in early 2024, which will impact revenue for Coast Wenatchee. Before the new agreement, the city collected 8% commission of the first $750,0000 in convention center gross revenue generated by Coast Wenatchee.
The project prompted a renegotiation of the agreement which was previously set to expire in 2024.
During the renovation, the city will not collect a commission from Coast Wenatchee. The city predicts a $130,000 loss of commission to occur.
Coast Hotel overhaul
Coast Wenatchee also plans on spending millions of dollars to renovate its hotel at the same time as the convention center project.
The new extension will end the agreement on Dec. 31, 2026. Coast Wenatchee will need to complete its hotel renovation and finalize expenditures before that date.
If Coast Wenatchee completes its hotel renovation before the new expiration date, the agreement will grant two new extension paths for Coast Wenatchee.
The first one will grant a five-year extension from 2026 if Coast Wenatchee spends between $3 to $4.9 million. The second path will grant a 10-year extension beyond 2026 if Coast Wenatchee spends over $5 million on the hotel renovation.
However, if Coast Wenatchee does not move forward with the hotel renovation project the agreement will expire in 2026.
Coast Wenatchee will pay the city 8% of the total facility gross revenues after the end of the agreement, in 2026, and for any extended dates.
The city expects to pay Coast Wenatchee around $50,000 for any events that will occur within 180 day after the agreement expiration date but were booked during the contracted years, according to Laura Gloria, director of executive services for the city.
“The contractor (Coast Wenatchee) is selling years in advance,” Gloria said. “This will give the contractor (Coast Wenatchee) the ability to collect the revenue that was produced by them up to 180 days after termination.”
Doug Rigoni, vice president and chief operations officer of Coast Hospitality, the parent company of Coast Wenatchee, was at the city council meeting and told the council that his company was committed to a “significant renovation” of the hotel and that the company is currently creating plans for the renovations and plans to release them soon.
“We want to have all of this done at the same time (as the convention center renovation) and come out with a big splash, a convention center, and hotel … and drive even more business to the whole valley,” Rigoni said.
City council member Linda Herald, who is is the general manager of the Wenatchee Convention Center and is employed by Coast Wenatchee recused herself from making any decisions on the topic.
“Part of our agreement tonight is that Coast Hotel has agreed to spend maybe an excess of up to $5 million to update their hotel,” Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz said after the meeting. “At the same time, we are updating the convention center, that will make the visitor experience even better. You get a newly remodeled convention center and a newly remodeled hotel.”
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