July 07, 2004

The Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill on July 4 to allow slot machines at 14 locations throughout the state. Though there will be no slot machines in the state's convention centers, part of the gaming tax revenue will go toward financing an expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. In the next few weeks, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority will begin assembling the parcels of land required for expansion; official groundbreaking should occur within two years, according to Al Mezzaroba, president and CEO of the PCCA.

A new $226 million convention center and hotel complex will be constructed in Schaumburg, Ill., by July 2006. Last week, Schaumburg village officials approved a 5 percent tax on entertainment to help pay for the 259,000-square-foot center, which is to be built by Chicago-based Walsh Construction. A 500-room Marriott Renaissance Hotel with a 28,000 square-foot ballroom will share the 45-acre site.