Tax board hammers out fee increases
November 3, 2021
Members of the Tucumcari Lodgers Tax Advisory Board and city officials during a special work session Wednesday hammered out a more specific set of proposed fee increases next year for the Tucumcari Convention Center.
Fees at the convention center haven’t been raised since 2015. Board Chairman Matt Bednorz said in previous meetings current rates are too inexpensive compared to other facilities in the region. Several other board members and city officials agreed, including City Manager Mark Martinez and mayor pro tem Todd Duplantis.
After more than an hour of discussion, board members and officials came up with a consensus for new rates:
• Entire facility for commercial purposes, including trade shows, conventions and expos: $1,025, from the current rate of $800;
• Entire facility by nonprofit organizations or weddings: $750, from the current rate of $600;
• Tucumcari Room by commercial entities: $800, from the current $500;
• Tucumcari Room by nonprofits or weddings: $600, from the current $400;
• Nara Visa Room by commercial entities: $200, from the current $150;
• Nara Visa Room by nonprofits: $125, from the current $100;
• House and Logan Rooms by commercial entities: $125, from the current $100;
• House and Logan Rooms by nonprofits: $100, from the current $75;
• Lobby and patio: $125, from the current $100;
• Montoya Board Room: $200, from the current $150;
• Liberty Room by commercial entities: $125, from the current $100;
• Liberty Room by nonprofits: $100, from the current $75;
• Del Norte Community Center: $125, from the current $75;
• Cleanup fees of $60 per hour;
• Security fee for two guards at $60 an hour;
• Bartender fee for three bartenders at $50 an hour.
Those fees likely will be formally recommended during the board’s next regular meeting on Nov. 3. After that, the Tucumcari City Commission can officially adopt, change or reject the pricing structure.
Duplantis voiced satisfaction with the proposed fee for the entire facility.
“One thousand, that’s pretty good,” he said. “I’ve seen it as high as $2,500, and that’s just for one room (at other convention centers).”
Martinez proposed a fee structure of adding a 4% inflation rate compounded annually since 2015, which was the last time rates were raised. He factored in the facility’s daily cost of $138.45 for all utilities. He considered the center’s recently retired mortgage of about $425 a day. He also compared fees to a similar facility in Alamogordo.
Martinez said the convention center needs to make a small profit so that money can be used for maintenance. He said an apparent roof leak on the facility’s north side needs to be repaired, and he recently received a quote to change the center’s “outdated” flooring to polished concrete for $138,000. He said keeping the convention center well-maintained will make it an easier sell for potential customers.
Martinez also noted that government entities can rent the convention center for free, which he disagrees with. He said the Alamogordo facility charges a nonprofit rate for those.
“We’re not in the convention center business to give handouts,” he said. “We need to make sure we make a profit.”
Martinez asked convention center director Loy McSpadden to call other companies to get prices on renting tables and chairs. Martinez said he may recommend fees for the use of those items.
Officials also proposed the cleanup fee because many users of the convention center pledge to do their own cleanup, then fail to do so.