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Music convention may earn incentive pay

A convention of Northwest music educators and their students could be the first to receive an incentive payment if organizers deliver the number of visitors and room nights called for in an agreement with the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Members of the Washington Music Educators Association and MENC: National Association of Music Education began arriving Wednesday, said bureau spokeswoman Pam Scott.

By the time they wrap up their meeting Monday, she said, as many as 1,500 educators and 5,000 students will have spent 2,482 nights in hotels near the Convention Center and generated more than $7 million in economic activity.

She said those numbers will earn the associations a $25,000 incentive based on number of nights, hotels occupied, timing of the meeting during an otherwise slow convention period, and other factors.

Scott said the incentive payment will be drawn from an account funded by the “tourism promotion area” levy on area hotels.

The Spokane fund is capped at $100,000, compared with the $300,000 to $400,000 some cities the same size as Spokane have available to encourage convention bookings, she said.

Bert Caldwell can be reached at (509) 459-5450 or

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