Are Convention Centers Worth the Investment?

Are Convention Centers Worth the Investment?

By Monica Compton, November 8, 2016

“Convention centers seldom make a profit in their own right,” said James Ingo Freed in 1989 as his design for an expansion of Los Angeles Convention Center began. “Essentially they are architectural machines designed to generate business for the city.” Twenty-seven years later, his statement still holds true as convention center renovations and expansions quicken across the country. Every aspect of a city depends on large group business to fill hotels, restaurants and taxis; bolster shopping revenue; and increase entertainment sales. So the answer to the question above? Yes.

The economic impact a convention center has on a metropolis is in the billions—but not all are without controversy from taxpayers. This handy guide gives a quick rundown of five to watch.

KENTUCKY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER
Louisville, Ky.

Venue Stats More than 100 events in 2014, attracting 225,000 attendees

Economic Impact $53 million

OmniHotelLouisville

Added Amenities A 600-room Omni Hotel one block from the convention center is set to open in March 2018.

What the City Says “The redesigned center will allow us to compete for more convention business, which helps support existing jobs and creates new ones,” says Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. The venue will be closed during the two-year renovation.

Renovation Start Date August 2016

Expected Completion Summer 2018

Makeover Money $180 million

Expansion Details Additional 54,000 square feet of exhibit space and a new 40,000-sq.-ft., column-free ballroom

Total Space After Expansion 40,000 square feet

Controversy Seventeen clients had booked the KICC already for the two years it will be closed for renovation, and now seven will have to meet elsewhere.

Bankrolled By $56 million in general fund bonds and financial backing from Louisville CVB

(Visited 485 times, 1 visits today)

These three new trends will change event tech going forward.

The inaugural Elevate conference, produced by the Association for Women in Events, sparked ideas and discussions crucial to breaking the glass ceiling.

Going to Maui doesn’t have to break the bank. We have an itinerary for every budget.

Airport kiosks nationwide now offer everything from shaving kits to parkas.

Communication and leadership skills expert Pamela Jett says you need to choose words wisely to influence decision-makers.

Marriott International identifies leaders in the F&B world.

Philadelphia Church of God’s Feast of Tabernacles requires a cornucopia of planning.

Shared Hope International adds a second conference to further address ways to combat trafficking.

This webinar will chart the development of sustainable events from early iterations to the multitude of issues and challenges faced today.

Read More