THE cost factor has contributed to Albury Council steering away from an option to demolish and rebuild the city's entertainment centre to help secure larger and lucrative major conferences.
The council's planning and development committee will be presented with results of a consultants report examining future development options including preliminary capital and operating costs for the centre on Monday night.
A price tag of $34.1 million was placed on the "maximum" works option of demolishing and expanding the theatre foyer and chandelier room and increasing the capacity of the convention wing to cater for 880 guests on the ground floor and creating other spaces to boost the capacity beyond 1000.
A total of $11 million would be required to carry out the "minimum" works option of retaining the existing layout where possible, but increasing capacity on level two.
Aside from the initial economic boost in the construction period, a cost-benefit analysis carried out by the consultants concluded neither option was "economically desirable" long-term.
The staff recommendation is for more detailed research into the design and capital cost of redeveloping the convention wing and continue to use large temporary marquees in QEII Square or Lauren Jackson Sports Centre where required.
"The primary purpose of the feasibility study was to provide an overview of future development options, with concept designs, indicative capital and operating costs, an economic impact assessment and cost benefit analysis," the report states.
"AEC Group's findings suggest there is significant opportunity for Albury to capture a greater proportion of market share of events with 800-1000 patrons.
"However, due to existing site constraints and asset age, the redevelopment of the existing facility at the conceptual scale proposed would require a level of capital investment that does not deliver a positive cost benefit."
The theatre wing was constructed in 1964 and convention wing eight years later.
A major refurbishment was undertaken in the late 1980s with a further $4.5 million refurbishment of the theatre wing completed seven years ago.
The entertainment centre is the biggest of its type regionally, but faces stiff competition from Gold Coast, Port Douglas, Coffs Harbour and Hunter Valley for large conferences.