Consultants say that Louisville’s Kentucky International Convention Center needs a $150 million renovation and expansion, according to a study commissioned by the state. The facility, which opened in 1977 and underwent a $72 million facelift in 2000, caters to just 70 percent of available business, while the proposed changes would raise that number above 90 percent. Plans call for 230,000 square feet of additional exhibit space. “The building needs to be renovated,” said Jim Wood, president and CEO of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s tired. It really needs a complete overhaul.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed budget plan for the state of Louisiana in 2013-14 reallocates $100 million from the reserves of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Much of that money had been earmarked for an ongoing expansion of the facility, reports WWL-TV. “That is a state entity,” Jindal said in remarks. “They’ve got $170 million in reserves. This is above and beyond the money they use for operations.”
Alabama’s Gulf State Park, 29 acres of beachfront property decimated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, has been approved as the site for a new hotel and convention center. The state’s House Economic Development and Tourism Committee voted to approve a partnership with a private developer to build the facilities.
Development teams in competition for the $1 billion Miami Beach Convention Center renovation project presented their plans to residents last week. Acting on the voiced concerns of citizens, both proposals emphasized lush greenscaping and meshing the facility with the adjoining neighborhoods.
The New York Times is upping its investment in events and conferences, according to Politico. After bolstering its events business early last year, the Times has now brought on former Times Magazine editor Gerry Marzorati as general manager and editorial director of its conference segment. “[These events] offer our readers another way to engage with The Times and give advertisers the type of custom marketing solutions they are increasingly looking for,” says an NYT spokesperson.
UBM Asia announced an agreement to become the majority holder of the Shanghai-based urban fashion show, Novomania. The 2012 event attracted more than 13,000 attendees to an 82,000 sq. ft. floor at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. “This joint venture continues our strategy of focusing on sectors and markets with the most exciting growth potential,” said Jime Essink, president and CEO of UBM Asia.
Esquire features a Q&A with Tom Florio, CEO of Advanstar and the Magic/Project tradeshows. Florio discusses the recent success of his shows and the possibility of bringing a stand-alone men’s fashion week back to New York.
The underused Reno-Sparks (Nev.) Convention Center is being turned into a film studio, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority announced. “We have a half-million-square-foot building that is not utilized on a regular basis. It’s like having a church for Easter Sunday only,” said one city official.
See Also: The Week In Tradeshows | Feb. 25
The Mobile (Ala.) Convention Center will host the United States Bowling Congress’ 2021 Women’s Championships. The event is expected to draw 30,000 to 35,000 attendees, with an estimated economic impact of close to $50 million.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is discussing future management options for the Hawaii Convention Center. The facility’s contract with SMG, its current manager, expires at the end of 2013.
The Augusta (Ga.) Convention Center opened to fanfare last week. The $50 million facility had been in the works since 2009, and had been without an official management contract until as recently as November.
With the season less than a month away, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced it will have billboards at four of the best-known parks in Major League Baseball.