Impact Across Sectors
The WSCC will have a profound economic impact on the Greater Seattle region. Business owners will see a significant increase in foot traffic and customers. Hotels and restaurants will have new guests and diners. Museums, theaters and performing arts spaces will have new patrons. Thousands of new jobs will be created. And beyond downtown, businesses in Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Denny Triangle and the Pike/Pine neighborhoods will all benefit from the increase in conventioneers.
Summary of Economic Benefits
Here is an overview of the economic benefits the WSCC Addition will deliver to the Greater Seattle region:
- An estimated $200 million per year in spending from out-of-state visitors
- An estimated $35 million per year in spending from in-state residents
- 2,300 new permanent jobs created at the facility and in hospitality-related businesses
- 1,600 additional jobs supported across the region by economic activity generated by increased convention business
- As many as 6,000 workers employed during construction
- $18 million in annual tax revenue from delegate spending
- Year-round demand for Seattle’s hotels, restaurants, stores and entertainment venues in surrounding neighborhoods
During construction, the WSCC Addition will provide thousands of skilled union construction jobs. Once the Addition is in operation, it will support some 3,900 jobs, including direct jobs at WSCC and in hospitality-related businesses that benefit from the convention activity, and additional direct/induced jobs, such as those in the supply chain.
The convention business in Seattle is strong, consistently showing year-over-year growth. But the current capacity is insufficient. In the past five years alone, the WSCC could not compete for more than 350 event proposals due to lack of dates or space. This equates to more than $2.13 billion in potential economic benefit that was lost for the region. While the Addition will enable WSCC to attract a handful of larger conventions annually, the far more important benefit is that it will enable both facilities to operate simultaneously and often slightly out of synch, so that when one large conference is active in one facility a second conference might be moving in or out of the other facility. This activity will help even out demand for hotels and services, creating a higher level of demand year-round.
Built with Existing Lodging Taxes
Funding for the WSCC Addition will come primarily from a bond issuance by the Convention Center, which will be supported by existing taxes on hotel room occupancy. Both facilities – the current Convention Center and the Addition – will operate without any new taxes from the city, county or state governments.