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Venues & Destinations
$140 Million Expansion & Renovation Of SMG-Managed Greater Columbus Convention Center Nears Completion
Following 22 months of balancing construction and remodeling with customer care and resilience, the $140 million expansion and renovation of the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) is reaching completion.
“We are gratified by the significant investment that our Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority owners have made in transforming this facility into the crown jewel of convention centers,” said GCCC General Manager John Page. “Our guests will arrive at a stunning and expanded facility immersed with artwork and amenities and be welcomed with best-in-class customer service. Every guest is a Very Important Person to us.”
As a result of this project, the GCCC now offers:
What sets the GCCC apart from other major facilities in its competitive set and beyond?
- 1.8 million square feet
- 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and 447,000 overall
- 114,000 square feet of ballroom space, including 25,000-square-foot Union Station Ballroom, 15,000-square-foot Short North Ballroom and the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio, 74,000-square-foot Battelle Grand
- 75 meeting rooms comprising about 118,000 square feet
- 9 new meeting rooms with windows facing outside
- 4 parking facilities with 4,000 onsite parking spaces
- Spacious atriums with elegant flooring
- Arnold Plaza featuring 10,000 square feet of event space with tent
- Upper-level show management offices overlooking exhibit halls
- Decorative lighting and colorful node walls in the concourse
- Digital meeting room signage
- 35 loading docks
- South Café & Marketplace featuring quick-service dining, specialty shops and services
- Two Guest Services Centers
- Free-standing nursing mother’s room
- Energy-saving fixtures in remodeled restrooms and LED lighting in exhibit halls
- Across the street from the Arena District and Short North Arts District offering dining, shopping and entertainment
- Minutes from John Glenn Columbus International Airport, with AirConnect shuttle stop
- Connected to five hotels by enclosed sky bridges
- Convenient destination located within one-day’s drive or a one-hour flight of the majority of the U.S. population
The Greater Columbus Convention Center is located in downtown Columbus and owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and managed by SMG.
- Artwork: The GCCC features the largest contemporary collection of Franklin County art, including an upcoming interactive signature piece. Tours are provided and a docent program is in development. The collection is curated by Reese Brothers Productions.
- Collaboration spaces: Whether sitting in clamshell-style seating, the South Cafe & Marketplace, Discovery Café, pods of casual seating throughout the main concourse or beneath colorful node walls, visitors can relax and chat in gathering spaces of choice throughout the facility.
- Connectivity: Internet capabilities via Smart City include accommodating 20,000 simultaneous users throughout the facility. There is an increase in access points from 110 to 250, and more bandwidth that provides greater capacity and speed. A duplicate system enables maintenance to be performed on the primary system without interrupting service to the user.
- Culinary creativity: Exclusive caterer Levy operates in collaboration with Cameron Mitchell Premier Events. Levy’s new Discovery Cafe features local cuisine and beverages within the Homegrown Café, Columbus Grille, CBUS Tap Room and Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea. The indoor Smartfarm is being installed this month, the first of its kind in a convention center. The Smartfarm will produce nearly 5,000 pounds of vegetables and herbs annually for culinary use, with any surplus donated to local charities. The Live at Lunch series provides local entertainment from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, and has already featured a performance by a Grammy Award-winning musician.
- Guest Service: Visitors to the facility are welcomed by the city’s largest contingent of Certified Tourism Ambassadors and two Guest Services Centers, further elevating the guest experience in a welcoming city already known for being smart and open.
SMG turns 40 in 2017! Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. Visit www.columbusconventions.com and www.smgworld.com for more information.
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