Charlotte city leaders disappointed with Visitor's Authority - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Charlotte city leaders disappointed with Visitor's Authority

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Charlotte city council members are disappointed at Charlotte Regional Authority (CRVA) CEO's presentation about the economic impact the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) basketball tournament had on Charlotte this year.

The tournament happened back in March and still no numbers to reflect how the city profited.

CRVA CEO Tom Murray says it's taking longer because a third party is helping to crunch the numbers.

"We're having our work analyzed and blessed," Murray said. "By the economic organization that did the Democratic National Convention study."

Members of the city's Economic Development Committee clam by now they would have had a full breakdown of how the CIAA did, not a one page sheet paper of information that was handed to them at Thursday's meeting.

Murray says the final numbers should be ready to be revealed soon. In the meantime the information shared showed the price of a hotel in Uptown increased by nearly 4%. Leaders say that's small but to CIAA leaders - that's an increase they don't want.

"There is a perception out there," Councilman James Mitchell said. "During the CIAA - the prices go up compared to Lowe's Speed Week and DNC. We need to show data - if there is an increase, how much are we increasing and are we being fair."

Hotel prices are a concern for CIAA leaders. The city has to rebid this year to keep the popular basketball tournament in town. 2014 is the last scheduled year for Charlotte to host the tourney.

"We all need to care about overpricing ourselves," City Councilman David Howard said. "So we don't push them over to some place else."

Other cities want to host the CIAA. The CRVA has been told to solve the issues tournament leaders have - especially when it comes to the hotels.

"What they've asked us to try to help them do is," Murray said. "Try to control the rooms in the future, so they can control who's coming in and out of the hotels and that gives them an opportunity to know who those customers are and have those customers relate to them."

Numbers also shows out of town spending increased by 26.1% when it came to food, drinks and retail. That's the largest increase ever. CIAA leaders want some of that money to come back to the organization when it comes to scholarships. The money the city gives back to CIAA has remained the same.

"I think there are other ways to try to be able to engage the private sector," Mayor ProTem Patrick Cannon said. "To help along the way and those are the areas that I want to begin to tap into and see what possibilities are out there - to see what we can do to ante up the level of giving for scholastic achievement."

City leaders want to start early tackling and solving concerns CIAA leaders have. They want to show them the city is serious about wanting the tournament to stay in Charlotte.

"We know we can't change 2014," Mitchell said. "But we need to make sure they are comfortable in 2015, 2016,2017, 2018. It's a different relationship. It's two partners coming together, doing planning now to make sure it's a permanent home for the CIAA tournament."

City leaders plan to travel to Richmond, VA next week to talk to CIAA leaders about their future in Charlotte.

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