Daily Herald - Suburban Chicago's source for news This copy is for personal, non-commercial use. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution you can: 1) Use the "Reprint" button found on the top and bottom of every article, 2) Visit reprints.theygsgroup.com/dailyherald.asp for samples and additional information or 3) Order a reprint of this article now.
Article updated: 11/21/2012 7:51 PM

Schaumburg convention center business improving, but concern looms

By Eric Peterson

Schaumburg officials are predicting a mild improvement in business at the Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center to continue in 2013 -- so long as the dreaded "fiscal cliff" doesn't become reality Jan. 1.

Village Manager Ken Fritz said the fiscal cliff has the potential to wreak havoc on all aspects of the economy based on consumer spending, including Schaumburg's all-important sales tax.

But while the village's next overall budget won't be approved until after the fiscal cliff outcome is decided, the hotel and convention center budget is being reviewed now.

However, the budget approved in December can be retroactively adjusted if the entire nation receives bad news on New Year's Eve, Fritz said.

"Anything that's going to affect this budget in that way is going to affect the whole country," he said. "We'd be in the same boat as everyone else."

While Rosemont also is in the convention business with its Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, it is not going through its annual budget process. Rosemont spokesman Gary Mack said village leaders are not as concerned about the fiscal cliff. Bookings at the convention center are solid for 2013, he added.

And as long as the cliff is avoided, Schaumburg's hotel and convention center budget predicts good news for 2013, building upon the success of 2012.

The year is expected to end with a surplus of about $1,000 rather than the $1 million deficit predicted at the start of the year. In 2011, the hotel and convention center experienced a loss of just under $2 million.

Total revenue for 2013 is estimated at $50.9 million, a 7.9 percent increase over the 2012 budget. But total expenses outside of depreciation costs are estimated to increase 4.8 percent, to $50.5 million in 2013.

The hotel and convention center operations in 2013 are expected to contribute $4.97 million to the $10.87 million of interest payments due on the bonds issued to fund the facility and $945,000 of bond principal coming due. That is a 2 percent increase over the $4.87 million expected in 2012.

While things are clearly improving, the village hopes the pace of the improvement will be quicker in years ahead, Fritz said.

Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.