Omaha World Herald

July 20, 2016

by Emily Nitcher

Bellevue May Name New Conference Center After Family That Goes 'Hand in Hand' with City

Carey Hamilton's family has been selling cars in Bellevue since 1971.

Now Hamilton is lending her maiden name of Beardmore to a new venture in Nebraska's third-largest city.

Pending approval from the Bellevue City Council, the city's new conference and event center will be known as the Beardmore Event Center of Bellevue.

The contract between the city and Beardmore calls for annual payments totaling $500,000 over a 10-year period. Phil Davidson, spokesman for Bellevue, said the deal should be on Monday's City Council agenda.

Carey Hamilton and her husband, Brian Hamilton, own Beardmore Chevrolet Subaru.

The new event center is at 3750 Raynor Parkway and offers 18,000 square feet of flexible space that is attached to a Courtyard by Marriott hotel with 121 rooms.

The Hamiltons said that for years people in Bellevue's business community have expressed a desire for a nice hotel and a large space to hold meetings.

“Besides the fact we wanted to do this, I also thought it felt good to name something that's going to be so important to the Bellevue business community,” Carey Hamilton said.

Bellevue contracted Joyce Julius & Associates to help research the worth of the conference center's naming rights and sell them, Mayor Rita Sanders said. It was determined the naming rights were worth about $60,000 a year.

The city asked for letters of interest this year and got six back. But officials said finding the right partner wasn't just about finding the highest bidder.

“As a finance guy, it's painful for me to say, but it's about quality, not just quantity,” said Rich Severson, finance director for the City of Bellevue.

City officials wanted a name that was appropriate for the venture. Sanders said that they liked Beardmore's local connection and that they have been invested in Bellevue for decades...