The 350,000-square-foot PALM BEACH COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER opened in January in West Palm Beach, Fla., three miles from Palm Beach International Airport. Among the meeting space: a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 25,000-square-foot ballroom, and 23,000 square feet of flexible breakout space that is divisible into 23 rooms. Wireless Internet connections and fiber-optic and CAT6 cabling are available.
In Daytona Beach, Fla., the Volusia County Council has given the green light to a $57 million expansion of the OCEAN CENTER CONVENTION AND ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX. The project, which is scheduled for completion in February 2007, will add 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
THE HAMPTON ROADS CONVENTION CENTER in Hampton, Va., is set to open in January. The complex will feature 35 meeting rooms, a 108,000-square-foot exhibit hall, and a grand ballroom with banquet seating for more than 2,000. Connected to the center by a covered walkway, a John Q. Hammons Embassy Suites Hotel is also scheduled to open in 2005.
The $211 million, 1 million-square-foot DEVOS PLACE convention center opened last December in the heart of Grand Rapids, Mich., with a 162,000-square-foot exhibition hall. The center's 40,000-square-foot ballroom, to be completed in early 2005, will seat 3,250 people for banquets.
The $122 million GREATER TACOMA (WASH.) CONVENTION & TRADE CENTER plans to open in November. In the heart of downtown, with views of Mount Rainier and Commencement Bay, the center will have 76,000 square feet of meeting space; a 51,500-square-foot, column-free exhibit hall; and a 13,650-square-foot ballroom. A Courtyard by Marriott is under construction across the street from the center.
When the new the PUERTO RICO CONVENTION CENTER opens late next year in San Juan, it will be the largest, most technologically advanced center in the Caribbean. At 580,000 square feet, the facility will house a 152,700-square-foot exhibition hall, the largest ballroom in the Caribbean, and 36,200 square feet of meeting space.
An expansion to THE VANCOUVER (B.C.) CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE is slated to begin later this year, with completion by 2008. The VCEC will house the media center for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games being held in Vancouver and Whistler. Both the Canadian federal government and the B.C. provincial government are contributing to the $406 million expansion project.