Chamber leaving convention center for new downtown home

After more than 30 years in the Dayton Convention Center, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce plans to move to the first floor of 8 N. Main Street, once known as the PNC building downtown.

The chamber said it expects to move this fall.

“The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has been a part of the fabric of downtown Dayton for more than 112 years,” Phil Parker, chamber president and chief executive, said in an announcement Thursday. “Now is the perfect time to reinvigorate our mission and meet the new generation of business leaders where they are.”

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The move comes as community leaders have wrestled with the question of how to maintain and pay for the Dayton Convention Center. In December, a local task force recommended reinvesting in the center at Fifth and Main streets.

The convention center, which has lost money for several years, needs updates, a task force’s report said. The task force recommended increasing the countywide lodging tax to 6 percent from 3 percent and using the new money to pay for about $15.2 million in upgrades.

The chamber said its move has been “well coordinated with the city of Dayton Leadership, which has been extremely supportive.”

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The chamber noted that it will occupy the same building as CityWide Development and the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority.

That proximity “will allow for better collaboration between the organizations as they serve our businesses and work to grow investment in the Dayton region,” the chamber said.

“Our new space will allow for more communication and collaboration both internally, and with these partners, which will make us stronger,” Parker said. “We will be better able to join efforts to speak as the voice of business and leverage our strengths to serve our business community.”

According to the Downtown Dayton Partnership, more than 800 employers now call downtown Dayton home.

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