Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Looking at Convention Center Success

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Looking at Convention Center Success

Article excerpt

Due to the substantial financial costs of convention center construction and expansion, cities must take appropriate care to analyze the likely impact of projects before deciding to break ground. A convention center is a catalyst for downtown revitalization, but it is only one of several elements that must be considered. (See also St. Louis article on page 7).

Below are several successful case studies of convention center and/or convention center hotel projects that met and exceeded their performance expectations.

The expansion of the Denver Convention Center and the addition of an adjacent 1,000-room Hyatt Hotel has doubled the confirmed booking rate of events in that city and tripled the number of tentative commitments.

In 2000, Milwaukee increased its exhibit space by 42 percent, quadrupled the size of its ballroom and doubled the number of meeting rooms at its convention center. The city is now considered a national venue and has doubled the number of convention hotel room nights occupied annually.

The Tampa Convention Center debuted in the fall of 1990. However, it wasn't until 2000, when the 717-room Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina opened, that the Center realized its potential. More bookings and larger groups increased convention business by 40 percent. This success was a catalyst for Tampa to enhance the downtown waterfront with another $500 million in projects, including a centralized entertainment complex, an electric streetcar line and a riverwalk. …

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