Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News
The newly dedicated Davis County Conference Center in Layton includes a ballroom and garden plaza. Officials say the 43,000-square-foot facility could generate close to $400,000 a year in sales taxes.

LAYTON — Let the money roll in. The Davis County Conference Center, dedicated here Tuesday, is designed to be an economic engine attracting convention business to tiny Davis County.

In opening remarks, Commission Chairman Dannie McConkie said the 43,000-square-foot convention center, next to a new hotel and surrounded by several hotels, will put the county on the convention and conference map for the first time.

"Today represents a new day for Davis County — today is our coming out, our coming of age," said McConkie before turning to the Rev. Neal Humphrey, of Layton's Westminster Church, who gave an opening prayer.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made some brief remarks before giving the dedicatory prayer. Elder Holland and McConkie were classmates at Dixie College.

Other speakers included Layton Mayor Jerry Stevenson, hotel developer Kevin Garn and KSL-TV weatherman Mark Eubank.

Stevenson said over the nearly a decade it took to get the project built, the county and city went down several roads, with three failures before completion. "We have a much better product because we waited," he said.

Garn, who owns several area hotels, said when the conference center is stabilized, it will host some 250 conferences annually and generate a net demand for 50,000 hotel room nights per year. Between $3.5 million and $5 million will be spent in the area by conferencegoers, giving the county close to $400,000 a year in sales taxes, he said.

Eubank noted the two weather towers in front of the building that will have neon tubes to show current and expected weather conditions. For instance, clear skies will have blue neon displayed; cloudy skies will have blinking blue neon; red neon will predict rain and blinking red, snow.

Views from two cameras on top of the building can be accessed by going to the conference center's Web site, he said.

County commissioners and other dignitaries tried a half-dozen times to cut the white ribbon with large scissors supplied by the Davis Chamber of Commerce before someone from the audience gave McConkie a pocket knife to cut the ribbon as the shears closed.

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