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Professional Convention Management Association

Spotlights

May 24 2013

3 Things You Should Know About Convention Centers This Week

By David McMillin, Staff Writer



Looking to stay updated on what’s happening at potential meeting sites? Look no further. Here’s a snapshot of three key pieces of knowledge about convention centers around the country this week.

1) Big Easy Looking for a Bigger Convention Center

Tourism officials in New Orleans are looking to secure government support for an expansion project at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and they received some great news this week. A proposal for the expansion project passed the Louisiana House. after initially being stalled due to fears that the project would require state money. Now, the project, which would cost an estimated $185 million and be funded by bonds paid for by hotel-motel taxes, will be debated in the State Senate.

If approved, meeting planners can look forward to a new “people mover” on Convention Center Boulevard, a new riverfront festival park, new executive conference facilities, a privately developed hotel and more.

SEE ALSO: New Orleans - Ten Times the Charm

2) Problems in Pennsylvania

While New Orleans works to build momentum to put more money into its primary group business facility, officials at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia are dealing with some unfriendly coverage in the press. AxispPhilly.org writer Tom Ferrick  details some of the challenges the center is facing, including struggles with the high costs of union workers and an expected decline in citywide bookings in 2016. As with any project funded by taxpayer dollars (the convention center underwent a five-year, $780 million expansion), local press can be quick to scrutinize statistics, dollar signs and financial forecasts.

3)  Cleveland Comes In Under Budget

With so much talk about money surrounding convention center construction and expansion projects, it looks like Cleveland is bucking the trend. The new Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center is set to officially open next week, and guess what? The final bill looks like it will actually be less than expected, and the opening date is earlier than initial predictions.

Be sure to stay tuned for on-site and in-depth coverage of the opening ceremony from Convene’s Sarah Beauchamp who will be journeying to Cleveland to tour the entire facility.

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