City Leaders Talk About New And Improved Convention Center

Lufkin city leaders are talking about building a new convention center in town.

The Angelina County chamber had an Austin firm conduct a study to determine the feasibility of Lufkin supporting a new facility.

The Pitser Garrison Civic Center is booked every weekend this year and half of next year, but several design issues - ceiling height, location, inadequate kitchen and sound system - limit the use of the facility.

Sean Garretson, certified planner for TIP Strategies, said, "It would be a huge boom for the economy. The preliminary economic estimates are that the visitor spending would be increased by about $3.5 million, there'd be about 300 to 400 jobs created, property tax revenue would increase, sales tax revenue would increase."

The proposed convention center would cost anywhere between $15- and $25 million to build.

The new center would be a combination hotel, conference center and visitor's center with space for restaurants and retail stores.