Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Owensboro selects company to operate new Convention Center

By Dave Kirk

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - The Owensboro City Commission has selected a company to manage and operate the new downtown convention center. The commission's choice is Global Spectrum.

Global Spectrum manages over 100 facilities worldwide, including 32 convention centers. The group also has a history with Owensboro's Convention Center.

Mayor Ron Payne says, "They have been involved since day one in helping us define exactly what we need in the way of a convention and events center. If they're going to manage it they should be involved in designing this facility. What do they need in order to make us successful?"

The new operating company's mission will be to sell Owensboro to outsiders.

Dean Dennis with Global Sprectrum says, "Our job is to take our national resources, our leads and our folks that we know and really begin to put those into contracts and fill the building up. We think people want to come to western Kentucky. It's right on the river. It's all the development with smother's park and the Riverpark center. There already is a demand and you already saw that when you had the old executive inn and so we know who those people were."

Global Spectrum gives examples of what type of conventions Owensboro residents could expect.

Dennis says, "We think this is a good state asset market. Firefighter state convention. Kentucky league of cities, you know different government types of businesses. Our job is really to make the pie bigger. Our job is to bring new people to town. Economic impact."

Global Spectrum's contract is for five years. The center is set to open in late 2013.