Generating $1 million in revenue during its first months of operation was a new ballroom for events at the Cobo Center, an SMG-managed facility in Detroit.
Cobo Center re-used and renovated its former Cobo Arena, turning it into a 40,000 square-foot Grand Riverview Ballroom that includes a 30,000 square-foot glass enclosure, three-story atrium and 10,000 square-feet of pre-function space overlooking the Detroit River.
“Clients love the flexibility and dramatic architecture of the space, the theatrical aspects of the ballroom and the inspiring views of the river,” said Connors. “We are experiencing a significant rise in long- and short-term bookings for the space and getting rave reviews from the customers in all respects, especially food and beverage,” said Thom Connors, regional vice president and general manager, SMG/Cobo Center.
Included in that million-dollar revenue figure is $800,000 generated by food and beverage sales for banquets, meetings, fundraisers, conferences and tribute events hosted in the ballroom.
“We are extraordinarily proud to welcome guests to this remarkable facility and to extend unique and high-quality hospitality reflective of the city’s spirit,” said Jason Hougard, general manager, Centerplate, the exclusive food and beverage partner to Cobo Center.
Recent events in the Grand Riverview Ballroom and adjacent spaces include the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s Shimmer on the River; Detroit Economic Club and Inforum Luncheons; Goodfellow’s Breakfast; Cattle Barron’s Ball; Henry Ford Health System’s Night of Stars; Crain’s Detroit Business, SoundBiz Conference; The Benefit, A Celebration to Beat NF; KMPG’s Holiday Party, the Dennis Archer Service Awards, hosted by the MI Bar Association; and the Mayor Bing Tribute Celebration, on Dec.18.
“We’re off to an excellent start,” said Connors. “Our financial expectations have been met in terms of the value of the new space generating in new business. We are very pleased to report that according to customer survey feedback from attendees and event managers, we have consistently exceeded our clients’ expectations. Cobo Center truly is a new center rising.”
Conferences alone since the Sept. 7 opening of the new spaces brought almost 100,000 attendees into Cobo Center. Among these are Detroit Chamber’s MichAuto; TedX Detroit; Michigan Charter Schools Conference; PricewaterhouseCoopers Talent Transformation Conference; and the National Alliance of Black School Educators.