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Boat show promoter wants to avoid reducing La Crosse Center’s North Hall

Brad Williams

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A long-time customer of the La Crosse Center continues to urge the center board not to tear down the North Hall portion of the building.

Shamrock Productions argues that it and other companies would rather use the existing 15,000 square foot North Hall than a smaller, rebuilt exhibit space.

Shamrock spokeswoman Chris Navratil thinks indoor exhibition space can bring in more business than a new atrium, or a rooftop terrace.

Navratil says reducing the size of North Hall by 4000 square feet could violate the contract her company has with the city, to put on a boat and travel show every winter at the La Crosse Center, but she hopes to avoid legal action.

Navratil says Shamrock was excluded from the expansion planning process, until this week.

She says architects with the project seem more interested in making cosmetic changes to the 39-year-old La Crosse Center, than in providing enough exhibit space for conventions and trade shows.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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