With visitor traffic down in just about every major metropolis, it's no wonder city and municipal governments are looking for reasons behind it. Boston's Mayor Tom Menino reviewed a report the Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau commissioned from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which studied future bookings for the city's new $800 million convention center (scheduled to open in 2004), and found the forecasts fell short. He asked the the Mass. Convention Center Authority, which shares convention sales responsibility with the convention bureau, to review the bureau'sefforts and put them out to bid. The new center is under construction in South Boston, several miles away from the city’s current conference hub, Hynes Convention Center, in downtown Boston. An adjacent 1,200-room Starwood hotel, is delayed because of financial difficulties, so the center will be open for at least a year with no headquarters hotel.
A similar situation exists in Los Angeles. With only six conventions booked at the Los Angeles Convention Center this fiscal year, the city is evaluating whether it should renew itswith the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau to promote the city-owned center. George Kirkland, president of the LACVB, wrote in a letter to the editor of the LA Times: "Convention center bookings have fallen in the past 18 months for a number of reasons. Correctly, you pointed out the No. 1 reasons: a dearth of hotel rooms within walking distance of the Los Angeles Convention Center. We enjoyed success in recent years while two of our competitors—San Diego and Anaheim—were recasting the hotel and visitor infrastructure that now supports their centers. We must do the same." Down in Miami Beach, Mayor David Dermer is opposed to renewing the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau's contract when it expires in September.