Houston’s meetings infrastructure, for the most part, weathered the fierce category 2 Hurricane Ike that hit the region over the weekend.
“To the best of our knowledge, the infrastructure is intact without significant damage, with the possible exception of Reliant Stadium,” said Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a press statement. The GHCVB is open for business. Officials are reviewing the damage at Reliant Park, which includes Reliant Stadium, Reliant Arena, and Reliant Center. The stadium, center, and arena, all suffered roof damage, as well as wind and water damage. Reliant Park serves as a venue for concerts, sporting events, trade shows, and other events.
Also, the Sheraton Hotel North Houston, near George Bush International Airport, is temporarily closed due to water damage. Hotel officials are canceling all reservations between now and October 1.
The George R. Brown Convention Center emerged with only superficial damage and no flooding, according to a statement from Luther Villagomez, general manager at the center. The center is now serving as a temporary shelter for hundreds of storm evacuees from around the region. Events at the convention center scheduled through September 22 have been rescheduled. Officials will provide more information on operations beyond that date as it becomes available.
Coastal areas, including Galveston, suffered much heavier damage. Galveston is without power and, for the most part, empty, as residents have been evacuated. Officials are assessing the extent of the damage.