Statistics compiled by the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau indicate that the Augusta Convention Center brought in $2.9 million in direct visitor spending within its first six months.
Since the 38,000-square-foot exhibit hall opened on Reynolds Street in late February, 20 events both new and previously held in the community have occurred in the downtown facility, and 18 more bookings are under contract, according to city bureau staff Monday.
“We have everything under one roof,” said Barry White, the president and CEO of the CVB. “The addition of that space has really allowed us to almost double our capacity for large events.”
The 100,000-square-foot venue, which also includes a ballroom and meeting space, adjoins the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center, which consists of 372 hotel rooms. The city financed $38.5 million for the new space.
The CVB formulates direct visitor spending by multiplying the number of hotel rooms by the number of nights spent in rooms.
That figure is calculated with a guest’s average expenditures, such as dining, shopping and transportation.
“The first ones in were mostly smaller events because smaller events can book closer in,” White said of the spending gap between former and future events. “The big events book further out.”
The largest event held at the center to date is TechNet, a new event to the area that is sponsored this week by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.
More than 1,100 hotel rooms are expected to be booked for the event, White said.