CVB Reaches Its Century Mark

March 26, 2004
Print
Text Size:
A A
GRAND RAPIDS — The Convention and Visitors Bureau hit a milestone last week by booking its 100th meeting for DeVos Place, the city’s new convention center that has been open for business since early December.

According to bureau President Steve Wilson, the landmark booking came when the Michigan Townships Association recently signed on the dotted line.

Wilson told members of the Convention and Arena Authority last week that the MTA would bring 2,000 delegates to the city for its annual convention in January 2006, and that the meeting would be worth slightly more than $1 million to the local economy.

Following the MTA commitment, four more groups agreed to meet here.

“We’re up to 104 now,” said George Helmstead, who directs the CVB sales team.

Since the exhibit space at DeVos Place opened, Wilson said the typical convention held here has gotten larger. The average number of delegates to each meeting has now reached 2,017, a figure that he said was double the average number of convention-goers that normally met at the old Grand Center.

Wilson added that the average number of attendees would get even larger in coming years, with the expanded and enhanced space of DeVos Place likely to attract the attention of more regional and national meeting planners. And one of the larger ones he spoke of is scheduled for this summer.

The Wesleyan Church Corp. will bring 6,000 delegates to downtown for its Quadrennial General Conference that will be held over 10 days, a gathering that is projected to pump nearly $1.5 million into local coffers starting in mid-June.

To get an idea of how large this meeting is, Wilson explained that the average convention blocks off 1,380 hotel rooms. But the Wesleyan group will account for 5,200 blocked rooms.

The CVB has the 104 conventions meeting over the next eight years, with one in the year 2010. The bureau expects that 209,800 people will attend those meetings, which will add $40.3 million to the local economy.

Another 60 meetings are on the bureau’s tentative list over the same timeframe and have an estimated value of $20.4 million in local expenditures.           

Recent Articles by David Czurak

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus