The Town of Vail has hired HVS Convention Sports and Entertainment Facilities Consulting to develop a business plan for a proposed conference center in Vail. The voters in Vail passed a referendum in support of the development of a conference center on November 5, 2002. The referendum includes a 1.5 percent increase in the local lodging tax and a 0.5 percent increase in the sales tax to fund the project. The Town has explored the concept of a conference center for several years and a series of previous studies have identified varying levels of potential demand for such a facility. However, none of the previous studies have included a detailed business plan for such a facility that is appropriate for the purposes of financing the project. The business plan will include the following: a detailed market and demand analysis with focus groups and surveys to obtain meeting planner input, a facility program recommendation, demand and financial operating projections, and a financing plan. LMN Architects, an architecture firm based in Seattle, is serving as a subconsultant on the project and will provide preliminary concept design work.