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Downtown hotels ready for conventions to come back

Can we afford stadium, arena, convention center?
Posted at 5:32 AM, Jun 14, 2021

CINCINNATI — Hotels in downtown Cincinnati are ready for the return of conventions as the Duke Energy Convention Center hosts its first full convention in a year.

Matt Lunkenheimer, the general manager of the Netherland Plaza, said hotel business started picking up a few months ago, but the return of conventions means more guests. That, in turn, means he has to employ more people.

The Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau said the first convention back in town is the annual NPTC trucking convention. It's a private event, but it will generate $1.9 million in direct expenditures and $59,000 in local taxes, according to the bureau.

This convention will also support about 373 jobs, not including restaurant staff and other service positions. And with top-notch service comes the chance that people from out of town will come back to Cincinnati and spend more here in the future.

The trucking convention may not be the most popular event, but it's a sign that conventions are returning. Officials said they have a strong convention lineup for the second half of 2021, and they expect 2022 to be back to normal.