Economic Development, Real Estate, and Travel & Tourism

Muskegon plans $15M convention center downtown

September 5, 2017
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Muskegon convention center
A rendering of the convention center planned for downtown Muskegon. Courtesy Progressive AE

A $15-million convention center is being planned for downtown Muskegon.

The convention center will connect the LC Walker arena and Holiday Inn in downtown Muskegon.

A letter of intent was approved last month by city and county commissioners for the project, which will include a one-story, 40,000-square-foot building and two layers of parking underneath.

The convention center will also integrate existing space at the Holiday Inn.

Building the convention center has been discussed for more than two decades. The project may now be completed by 2020.

“We’ve studied the idea for years to ensure that it will be a good investment for the tourist market,” said Frank Peterson, city manager, Muskegon. “If we have one year to design and two years to build, I predict we will be done by 2020.”

The city will own the center. Parkland Properties, which owns the Holiday Inn, will manage the property, pay operating expenses and keep whatever profits it generates.

The project will be funded by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Peterson hopes that the new convention center will increase downtown Muskegon’s tourism scene and strengthen the hotel business in the off seasons, fall and spring, where visitation tends to decrease.

With the new convention center, the city will also be able to host larger groups.

“There’s already a market for small- and medium-sized convention centers in Muskegon,” Peterson said. “We’ve held conventions for business groups and trade groups of about 100 to 200. With this new center, we will be able to host maybe 300.”

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