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Published March 2006

New convention center
starts strong

SCBJ Staff

During its first eight months, May through December of last year, the $31 million Lynnwood Convention Center convincingly proved its worth, accomplishing exactly what it was supposed to do ó draw large groups of people to the area for meetings, banquets, celebrations and exhibits, and send them home happy.

There were 252 events held at the center in that time, more than twice the projected number of 125, reflecting a strong interest in the stateís newest convention center. Located on 196th Street at the joining of I-5 and I-405, the centerís site makes it easy to get to; parking is free; and nearby hotels are a bargain compared to downtown Seattle destinations.

Over eight months, the center hosted such groups as Fluke Corp.ís 20-year club, Myrio Corp., Boeing and Microsoft; auctions for the Pacific Little League and Cascade School; public events that included Lynnwoodís Multi-Cultural Fair, plus birthday parties, wedding receptions and anniversaries and other events.

Despite being busier than expected, the center hasnít made a profit yet. In fact, it lost money during that time but only half of the anticipated losses. However, with revenue from the adjacent shopping center on its 13 acres, and tax money from the city, county and state, the centerís public facilities district showed a profit of $406,031.

For 2006, there are already 168 confirmed events booked, with 387 projected by the end of the year.

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© 2006 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA