A Graceful Mix at New Hawai'i Convention Center

"With the completion of the Hawai'i Convention Center, we are entering a new era," said a jubilant Sandra Butler-Moreno, Hawai'i Visitors & Convention Bureau vice president for meetings, conventions, and incentives, prior to the dedication of the $200 million convention center in October 1997. "Groups of all sizes can now take us seriously as a business meeting destination." The ceremonies celebrated the completion of construction of the facility on time and within budget.

Situated at the entrance to Waikiki, the four-story convention center is a feast for the eyes and spirit. Towering coconut trees, rooftop gardens, lava rock formations, and a 70-foot misting lobby waterfall add to the "Hawai'ian sense of place" of the building. The facility, which officially opens July 1, 1998, features outdoor terraces, courtyards, lounges, and lanais for informal gatherings.

Throughout the complex is artwork evoking images of Hawai'ian royalty, gods, and myths. Smells of native plants permeate the air, and a generous use of glass offers spectacular views of surrounding landmarks, including Diamond Head.

The convention center's ground floor houses a registration lobby leading into a 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall. The entire exhibition hall can be dedicated to one purpose, or configured into two or three rooms, each with its own entry to the registration lobby. Trucks can drive directly onto the floor for loading and unloading.

The second floor of the facility is exclusively for parking (800 spaces), while the third floor contains 107,426 square feet of space, which can be configured into 49 meeting rooms. The largest room will have a seating capacity of 1,200 guests. Also on the third floor are two high-tech multimedia theaters.

The building is wired for every meeting need. Electronic key-card readers are located outside major rooms, enabling groups to verify attendance at sessions. Work stations positioned around the center enable laptop computer users to plug in just about anywhere. Fiber-optic cable runs throughout the building, and the center is equipped for satellite videoconferencing.