The Anaheim City Council voted to approve the seventh expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center in its 47-year history. A long parade of speakers representing a broad spectrum of Anaheim – large and small businesses, labor, homeowners, activists — spoke enthusiastically in favor of approving the expansion.

Only Mayor Tom Tait dissented, unsuccessfully requesting to continue the item for another month.

The official staff presentation laid out various aspects of the expansion: how it would be built, how it would be financed, how it would enable the Convention Center to attract more business, what the economic benefits would be, etc.

Some of those cited:

  • an increase in 705,000 room nights to an upper range of more than 1,000,000 hotel room nights a year.
  • 4,600 with the status quo versus 9,800 when the expansion is completed.
  • An increase in direct spending in Anaheim from $133.8 million today to $160 million annually.
  • An increase in annual TOT revenue from $27.9 million today to $41.8 million.

The weight of evidence really was overwhelmingly in favor of approving the expansion. It was a big win for the city as a whole, and a smart investment in Anaheim’s future. And it was refreshing to be at an Anaheim City Council meeting that was civil, positive and not dominated by ranters and ankle-biters.

Kudos to the council for making a good deal a reality.