At its January 12th meeting, the Rio Nuevo Board unanimously approved a rental rebate program for Tucson Convention Center (TCC) users that generate significant state sales tax. The program, designed by SMG Worldwide Entertainment, the manager of the TCC, is aimed at attracting new users and incentivizing current users by refunding rental dollars when TCC events generate substantial sales tax. The program will rebate to the TCC user 10% of sales tax generated when the event's retail or ticket sales exceed $1,000,000. A million dollar event would generate approximately $65,000 in state sales tax. The user would receive a refund from Rio Nuevo for $6,500.00, or ten percent of the tax generated. The Board strived for a five-to-one return on investment with capital projects, and this program doubles the expected return on investment for the District and the State. The program was approved for one year.
In other action, the District Board authorized attorneys to finalize the purchase of a vacant parcel of land in order to build a new Greyhound terminal within the Rio Nuevo District. Once completed, the terminal will be leased to The Greyhound Corporation. The Board acknowledged they would release the terminal location once all parties have agreed and indicated that, if the current deal falls through, the District has other options.
The Board acknowledged it continues to negotiate with Gadsden and the City in an effort to help develop new retail on the west side. The Board made it clear that it remains interested in a new agreement, with measurable timelines and penalties if the property is not developed, similar to arrangements made with other Rio Nuevo projects.