It isn't a new idea.
A comprehensive plan for the city of Hastings in 1957 showed a proposal for a large conference center in the downtown district much like the one city leaders are proposing at the moment.
The facility was planned to be several city blocks wide and accommodate large crowds with a venue surrounded by pleasing landscaping, mezzanine walkways and modern design. It was to be the hub of activity that would complement the nearby businesses and neighborhoods.
It's an old idea that the city is prepared to inject with new life.
"What they planned then is almost exactly what we are hoping for now. It's incredible," said Mayor Vern Powers at the City Council meeting Monday. "If they would have done that back in 1957, what a wonderful area this whole downtown would have been. A facility like that probably would have shaped development throughout our town."