On Dec. 8, the Los Angeles Convention Center, owned by the City of Los Angeles, celebrated five years of successful operations by AEG Facilities Management. When AEG Facilities was awarded the management contract in 2013, the privately-owned company set out to increase the number of events and revenues, reduce expenses and make capital improvements to the aging facility. The public-private partnership exceeded expectations and established the LACC as an integral centerpiece of convention and special event development in downtown LA.
With nearly 250 events and 2.5 million visitors per year, the LACC is now generating approximately $781 million per year in economic impact for the city of L.A. and has built an operational profit of $35.6 million in five years, much of which has been reinvested in the convention center. The city also requested that AEG Facilities build a financial reserve of $2.1 million within the five years of its management agreement. This goal was exceeded in less than two years with the reserve currently standing at $8.1 million. Other aggressive goals set by AEG include implementing environmentally conscientious practices, building renovations, improving food and beverage services, increasing event bookings and strengthening relations with the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
To celebrate this momentous anniversary, five executives weigh in on five years of success at the LACC. “AEG Facilities has been an ideal partner for the city of Los Angeles in the management of the LACC,” says Jon Vein, president of the board of Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development Commissioners. “The LACC team has been incredibly efficient, having taken the budget from a deficit to a significant annual operational surplus in a very short period.”
Ernest Wooden Jr., president and CEO of Los Angeles tourism, agrees and says, “The LACC serves as a powerful economic engine for the City of Los Angeles; its success is integral to the vitality of our local economy. L.A. Tourism has helped secure a record number of city-wide conventions at the LACC during the past five years and through our strong partnership with AEG, we will continue to promote the LACC around the world as a premier site for meetings and conventions.”
Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development Doane Liu says, “We have experienced the most success in the LACC’s 47-year history through our partnership with AEG Facilities. The occupancy rates increased from 53 percent to over 70 percent; the continuous prosperity of the LACC demonstrates the excellence of this public-private partnership.”
Senior Vice President of the LACC and Convention Centers at AEG Facilities Brad Gessner adds, “Since 2013, AEG Facilities has implemented numerous revenue generating, efficiency and service delivery improvements at the LACC. In partnership with the City’s Convention & Tourism Development Department and L.A. Tourism, AEG has increased event programming and occupancy, elevated the guest service experience as well as made significant building improvements to the convention center resulting in record economic impact for the City of Los Angeles.”
Ellen Schwartz, AEG Facilities general manager of the LACC, agrees and concludes, “In five years, we have been honored to be recognized with 30 awards. This past year was especially significant when we received the state’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award. Additionally, we plugged in a 2.21 megawatt solar array that will save close to $500,000 annually and unveiled an innovative, 9,500-sq.ft. rooftop garden. These accomplishments serve as a catalyst to continue to push boundaries to make the facility best in class. We are proud to be part of this historic anniversary at the LACC and we look forward to celebrating more initiatives and continued success of this partnership.”
The Los Angeles Convention Center is renowned internationally as a prime site for conventions, tradeshows, and exhibitions. Owned by the City of Los Angeles and professionally managed by AEG Facilities, the LACC attracts more than 2.5 million visitors annually. The facility is an integral economic component to the Southern California area, generating economic benefits through attendee direct and indirect spending and sustaining 12,500+ local jobs. The LACC also remains an enduring symbol of environmental sustainability and social responsibility, and is proud to be an LEED Gold certified facility; the venue was re-certified on the Gold level in 2015 making the LACC the first convention center of its size in the U.S. to receive LEED EB:O+M Gold re-certification. For more info, visit lacclink.com.
AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports and live entertainment company in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone division of AEG, and its affiliates, own, operate or consult with more than 150 of the industry’s preeminent venues worldwide, across five continents, providing complete venue management, as well as specialized programs in operations, guest services, ticketing, booking, sales and marketing. AEG Facilities also provides resources and access to other AEG-affiliated entities. For more info, visit aegworldwide.com.