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Convention agency pursues use study of America’s Center

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS – Future use of America’s Center amid the competition convention business will be looked at in a study ordered by the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission.

The CVC announced Tuesday that it has hired a trio of specialzed companies — Johnson Consulting, Gensler and Arcturis — to assist in conducting a comprehensive study of the America’s Center complex. The study will examine the competitive convention and meeting environment, how the America’s Center is positioned to compete with other convention facilities, and provide recommendations to ensure St. Louis and the America’s Center remain a top convention/meeting destination.

“This study will provide us valuable insights into how America’s Center can enhance its position in an increasingly challenging environment, here in the Midwest and across the nation,” said Kathleen “Kitty” Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis CVC. “Just like any business, it is vital for us to understand the changes being made by our competitors and the ever-changing needs of our customers as we strive to ensure our competitive advantage.”

The study, which cost $97,000, will include input from an appointed advisory board and is expected to be completed in June. The advisory board is seeking input from St. Louis civic and business leaders, as well as industry leaders including event specialists, meeting planners and exhibitors from across the nation.

“In 2013 alone, travel and tourism accounted for more than $5 billion of direct spending to our regional economy and the events hosted at America’s Center were a key part of this success,” said Ratcliffe. “This study will assist our efforts to solidify America’s Center as a key economic catalyst and asset for our region.”

Johnson Consulting is a real estate and hospitality consulting firm. The firm works on many types of real estate uses, especially convention and conference centers, arenas, stadiums, hotels, entertainment/urban development districts, fairgrounds, performing arts facilities, resorts, retail, residential, tourism attractions, and many others. The firm provides strategic planning and direction, independent feasibility and market and financial studies, transaction assistance, tax analysis, tourism strategies, and owner representations in formulating ways to govern, manage and operate projects in the most effective and profitable way.

Gensler is a global inovation and design firm that works to optimize business performance and human potential. 

Arcturis is a national design firm headquartered in St. Louis that specializes in planning, architecture, interior design, graphic design and landscape architecture.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is the sales and marketing organization responsible for marketing St. Louis City and St. Louis County as a convention and meeting site and as a leisure travel destination. In addition, the CVC manages and operates the America’s Center Convention Complex, which includes 502,000 square feet of prime exhibit space, a 28,000 square-foot ballroom, the 67,000-seat Edward Jones Dome, the 1,400-seat Ferrara Theatre, and the St. Louis Executive Conference Center.

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