Pictured L-R: William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau; Senator Butch Miller, chairman, Georgia World Congress Center Authority Overview Committee; Frank Poe, executive director, Georgia World Congress Center Authority; Kevin Holtzclaw, vice president and chief operating officer, International Woodworking Fair; Nathan Deal, governor of Georgia; John Starkey, president, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association; Erika Respress, tradeshow manager, Bronner Bros.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA) Board of Governors have officially broken ground on the Georgia World Congress Center’s first major expansion since 2002.
The $55 million expansion project, a component of the Authority’s 2020 Vision strategic plan, features a new 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall affixed between the convention center’s buildings B and C that, once complete, will create more than one million square feet of contiguous exhibition space. This new fixed gateway will allow GWCC to compete for the industry’s most in-demand tradeshows, conventions and expos, while offering its largest annual events to expand as their businesses grows. The potential economic impact of the new exhibition space is estimated to be $632 million.
“Georgia’s pre-eminence on the national and international stage is the result of solid economic growth and increased tourism made possible by fixtures such as GWCC,” says Gov. Deal. “As host to premier conventions, festivals, sporting events and tradeshows, GWCC serves as the first impression for industry leaders interested in exploring all that Georgia has to offer. By expanding this welcoming center of opportunity, we are reaffirming our commitment to delivering world-class experiences for job creators and visitors, while laying a strong foundation for a more prosperous Georgia.”
William Pate, president and CEO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, agreed, saying, “The addition of this new contiguous exhibition facility will be a catalyst for the next level of growth. We are one of only five convention centers in the country offering one million square feet of contiguous exhibit space and when combined with our impressive suite of venues, Atlanta is well positioned for the future.”
The Georgia General Assembly approved general obligation bond funding for the project. Construction, contracted to Atlanta-based Holder Construction Group, is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Opened in 1976 as a single building, the GWCC has undergone four previous major expansion phases; it now consists of three main buildings and is the fourth-largest convention center in the country. The last extensive expansion came in 2002 with the completion of Building C, which features four exhibit halls, 23 meeting rooms, two auditoriums and the Georgia Ballroom and Galleria. For more info, visit www.gwcca.org/gwcc/.