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by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 28, 2010

 A new public-facilities district will oversee the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, set in place by the Metropolitan King County Council. “This new structure for the convention center means the revenue generated by it goes right back into investments in the center, keeping it competitive,” council member Jan Drago told the Seattle Times. The move is a response to a suit brought by the Tourism Alliances, a group of local hotel operators, over the diversion of $87 million in convention center revenues to help balance the state’s budget in 2008 and 2009. “The convention center’s board now can control its own money,” said Tom Norwalk, president and CEO of the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau. The move could jumpstart stalled plans to expand the facility, a much-needed move, according to Norwalk. “We’re turning away almost as much business as we’re booking,” he said. There is some new space available at the convention center. The Conference Center debuted last week, adding 71,000 square feet of space to the 205,000-square-foot facility.