Officials at the Adams County Convention and Visitors Bureau say they've worked with other community and business groups in Hastings to fund a study about the large venue needs of the city.
Adams County CVB Executive Director Kaleena Fong says the results show that the facilities at the Adams County Fairgrounds are more than adequate for conventions or trade shows - things that need large open spaces.
What the Iowa-based firm Venue Works found was that Hastings needs more conference space for meetings, banquets, and receptions.
Fong says a conference center wouldn't be a threat to local venues.
"Our goal in this is not really to compete with anybody that's already in the market, but to make sure that all of our needs are being met, and so they really evaluated all the facilities we currently have and found out that the conference space is really what we're lacking in the community," she says.
Fong says now that the study results are in hand they'll start talking with potential investors about the findings. She says conference centers are not designed to make money by themselves.
"They act as economic drivers for the community - they bring people in here to eat, to shop, to stay in our hotels, to buy gas, to do all those things - they increase both our sales tax, our lodging tax, and things that we use in the community to develop these amenities," says Fong.
Fong says that with large manufacturers, two colleges, and the hospital, they think Hastings has a lot of local need for conference space, but she says being in central Nebraska means they can attract a lot of statewide meetings too.