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Events center to be studied

April 11, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown tourism group has awarded a $66,000 contract to a Chicago firm to study whether a convention and events center is a good idea for Washington County.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors gave the contract to HVS International of Chicago on March 27.

Ben Hart, executive director of the Visitors Bureau, said Thursday the group will get started on the feasibility study April 16.

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HVS International will talk to people who plan events, look at possible locations for a center and make recommendations on a size and ways to pay for a center, among other factors in determining whether a facility will make a nice fit in the area, Hart said.

A grant from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development will pay for 70 percent of the study's cost, and the Visitors Bureau will pay the rest, according to a written statement.

Hart said the study will take about three months.

The Visitors Bureau also put together an Events Center Task Force consisting of about 14 people who will provide feedback on the study.

The Task Force is made up of government officials and local business people, Hart said.

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