The sparkler sped across a narrow wire until it reached the purple swag suspended from the lobby ceiling in the Chattanooga Convention Center. Pffffffffffft! The sparkler cut the ribbon and the newly expanded convention center was officially opened, under budget and ahead of schedule. Local movers and shakers thronged the 890-foot-long lobby--as long as three football fields--for the gala opening reception on April 10. At 298,000 square feet, the convention center is now nearly triple its ...

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