Are Convention Centers Worth the Investment?

Are Convention Centers Worth the Investment?

By Monica Compton, November 8, 2016

MIAMI BEACH CONVENTION CENTER

Venue Stats 106 events in fiscal year 2015, attracting 591,000 attendees

What the CVB Says “Miami has world-class airports and hotels, but our convention center was not world-class,” says Barry Moskowitz, vice president of sales for Greater Miami CVB. “We needed a technologically updated venue in order to keep up with other cities.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 4.48.30 PMRenovation Start Date December 2015

Expected Completion 2018

Makeover Money $515 million

Expansion Details A new 60,000-sq.-ft. grand ballroom; 81 breakout rooms totaling 190,000 square feet; a 20,000-sq.-ft. rooftop junior ballroom with terrace

Total Space After Expansion 1.4 million square feet

Added Amenities A 6-acre public park with a food pavilion and plaza honoring the city’s veterans; $6 million project to incorporate art by Miami’s renowned artists into public spaces; adjacent 800-room hotel (the center is in negotiation with several brands)

Controversy In 2013, a local Miami developer and architect team won the bid for $600 million in public funds to pay for construction costs. The center became a hot topic in the election season and eventually led to a court case that removed the plan from the ballot later that year. In 2014, a runner-up Denver team got the contract and had a lot of trouble getting construction bids. However, the designs and plans are set and the city is negotiating a final price with the contractor.

Bankrolled By A combination of general obligation bonds from Miami-Dade County, resort tax bonds, redevelopment authority bonds and parking bonds

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