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Pennsylvania Convention Center makes multi-million dollar economic impact on region

The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, the leadership for the Center, hosted 226 events with 1.1 million planners, attendees and exhibitors, resulting in a $728 million regional economic impact during the past fiscal year, according to convention officials.

In addition, hotel tax revenue was strong, showing a 6 percent increase over the previous fiscal year and coming in 9 percent higher than budget projections.  These figures reflect unaudited results for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2013.

“The Convention Center continues to be the number one driver of the region’s hospitality industry,” said Gregory J. Fox, chairman, board of directors, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.  “When the Center hosts an event, attendees drive business at the region’s hotels, restaurants, retailers and attractions, which helps to support more than 88,000 regional jobs.”

Major events hosted  from July 2012 through June 2013 included the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) with a regional economic impact of $39.3 million; East Coast Volleyball, with an economic impact of $25 million; and the American Association of Orthodontists with an economic impact of $25.8 million.

Convention Center staff and hospitality partners are focused on delivering first-class customer service for major events, including Greenbuild International Conference and Expo from Nov. 20-22, the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on Nov. 1 and Army-Navy Weekend from Dec. 12-14.

“The Pennsylvania Convention Center is a leading economic generator for the Southeastern Pennsylvania region.  The Center’s operating expenses are covered by a combination of revenue generated by hosting conventions, meetings and special events as well as a portion of the city’s hotel tax revenues,” said Ahmeenah Young, president and CEO, Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Event revenues for the Convention Center were approximately $14 million, about $600,000 above budget projections, while its portion of hotel tax revenues was $28.9 million for fiscal year 2012-13.  Operating expenses came in $3.2 million below budget projections at $31.6 million. The Center also contributed $1.6 million for education and training programs for area residents and youth in the hospitality industry.  This combination of increased revenues, and lower than projected expenses, resulted in the Center returning approximately $9.8 million in hotel taxes to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Board members recently selected SMG as a partner for operations management as part of a multi-pronged effort to enhance the Center’s ability to compete in the global convention and meetings industry.  SMG is a worldwide venue management group headquartered in West Conshohocken, Pa.

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