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Jekyll Island Authority selects SMG for convention center management

At its regular board meeting last week, the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) reviewed a variety of items including recoAn artist rendering of the Jekyll Island Convention Center.mmendations for its new convention center management team.

With construction on the Convention Center approximately 50 percent complete, the Jekyll Island Authority executive staff completed a diligent request for proposals process, culminating with presentations from three management firms vying for the new Jekyll Island Convention Center management contract.

In accordance with JIA executive staff recommendations, the Board approved SMG to manage Jekyll Island’s new 128,000 square foot convention center with an expected contract commencement date in early September.

“We can’t wait for the new convention center to open,” said Bob Krueger, JIA board chairman. “This particular revitalization project will foster such a beneficial impact to not only Jekyll Island, but essentially the entire Georgia coast. With SMG’s regional and national presence, we are confident in a professional opening next year.”

Starting with a request for qualifications in the Fall of 2010, the Authority narrowed down the search to three companies to respond to the request for proposals that followed.

“We appreciate the extensive research conducted by the JIA,” said Wes Westley, president and CEO of SMG. “It is further validation of our ability to equally serve new and existing convention facilities, regardless of their size or destination.”

Among other criteria, SMG was selected for its success in opening, managing and marketing dozens of other comparable facilities.

“This is a highly desirable venue and destination that will complement our strong southeast network of first-class facilities,’’ said Gregg Caren, senior vice president of Strategic Business Development for SMG. “We already see booking and operational synergies with our Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, which is further north on Georgia’s pristine coastline.”


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