Rental rates set at Grovetown venue

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:27 PM
Last updated 7:26 PM
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Columbia County’s exhibition hall near Grovetown won’t open for a couple of months, but officials have taken the first step toward setting rental rates for the facility.

Members of the county commission’s Community and Emergency Services Committee on Tuesday approved the new fees for the facility, currently under construction at the Gateway Center on Horizon South Parkway at Interstate 20.

“We did a market analysis specifically to make sure we weren’t proposing anything out of line with the industry,” said Sandy Boner, the manager of Columbia County’s Rental Facilities and Venues Department.

With a total square footage of 21,500 square feet, the hall is much larger than the county’s current largest rental facility, Savannah Rapids Pavilion – but it also will cost less to rent.

“Basically, these rates are cheaper than Savannah Rapids,” said Columbia County Leisure Services Division Director Barry Smith. “The decor at Savannah Rapids is a little more upscale. This is exhibit-hall space.”

The 7,500-square-foot top floor of Savannah Rapids rents for $2,250 per day, Smith said, while the 6,500-square-foot Hall B of the Gateway facility costs $1,100.

Renting the entire exhibit hall space will cost $2,400 for a full day, according to the fee schedule, with individual meeting rooms available for as little as $150 for a half-day.

Committee members also approved spending an additional $405,000 for kitchen equipment, lighting and signs for the facility, but the kitchen won’t be outfitted in time for the hall’s June 10 opening.

The initial lack of a kitchen and the distance to hotels is taken into account in the fees, which could later rise, Smith said.

About a third of the $7.3 million facility will be leased to the Family Y for a fitness center. The county will manage the remainder as rental space.

“We’ve had a good bit of interest in the facility,” Smith said, including a recent inquiry from the Mustang Club of America about renting the facility for its national car show in 2014. The CSRA Mustang Club moved its annual show last year from Augusta to Evans Towne Center Park.

Operators of the annual Christmas Made in the South have said they plan to move to the exhibition hall from James Brown Arena in 2014.

Reach Barry L. Paschal at, or call (706) 868-1222, ext. 106.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/26/13 - 03:14 pm
Grovetown Exhibit Hall

It will be much cheaper to rent than Augusta's TEE. Watch for cancellations downtown.

countyman 03/26/13 - 03:31 pm
Two different venues!

The real estate in the Central Business District is higher compared to the city of Grovetown. The exhibition hall is located outside of the city limits of Grovetown, but it's still less upscale compared to the TEE. The TEE Center is also located downtown near major hotels, the riverwalk, etc.

I wish the exhibition hall good luck in the future, but the TEE Center and exhibition hall aren't competitors.

The TEE Center already has 20 events(including the Mary Kay conference held this weekend), and the exhibition hall has the possibility of attracting one 'local event'.

I don't think the leaders of Columbia County are expecting to attract many non local events to the Gateway.

nocnoc 03/26/13 - 07:02 pm
Is Eastman Gun Show coming?

They hinted months ago they might use Grovetown in late 2013 or early 2014.

Eastman is one of the BEST Gun shows I have attended over the last 20 years.

At their shows, I usually see 90+% of the tables with Guns and Ammo related items. Unlike a few other shows I have recently attended to my dismay that have more unrelated junk than ammo and guns.

Willie Loman
Willie Loman 03/26/13 - 10:19 pm
Grovetown is up and coming!

The new exhibition center is being placed in the right place and right time. Convenient, adequate parking, close to where the growth is taking place. Truly visionary. WTG Columbia County!!!

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