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The unofficial spring kickoff has begun in Cleveland with new happenings on the conventions, exhibitions and meetings front.

Cleveland Convention Center to open in June

Originally scheduled to open July 19 for the Senior National Games, the convention center should be finished by June 1 and come in under its $465 million budget. A formal opening ceremony and ribbon cutting are planned for mid-June. Public viewings and small events are planned before the July 19 senior games. The Turner Construction Co. is the lead contractor for the project, which is funded by a 0.25 percent local sales tax and a 1 percent room tax.

Medical Mart renamed to reflect global health services

The 235,000-square-foot Cleveland Medical Mart has been renamed the Global Center for Health Innovation after the facility added a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Innovation Center scheduled to open in October. When the new Innovation Center opens later this year, the Global Center will house the Cleveland Clinic, GE Healthcare, Johnson Controls, University Hospitals and Philips Healthcare, making the facility an ideal location for medical meetings.

Hilton Hotel rebranded

Also undergoing a name change is the Hilton Hotel, which now is the DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland East – Beachwood. The formal name change took effect on March 11 and marks the end of a four-year renovation of the property.

“The Cleveland East – Beachwood hotel has long been the go-to full service hotel in the area for business and leisure travelers,” said Robert Trammell, general manager. “Our hotel’s dedication to a superior guest experience aligns perfectly with the DoubleTree by Hilton brand promise to provide the special comforts and acts of kindness that make the traveler feel human again. The DoubleTree by Hilton culture of caring begins with the presentation of a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in and continues through all aspects of the hotel stay.”

Horseshoe Casino celebrates first anniversary

The Horseshow Casino in May celebrates its first anniversary and has drawn more than 3 million visitors since opening in May 2012. Located in the historic Higbee’s department store building in downtown Cleveland, the $350 million casino anticipates drawing about 5 million visitors this year. It is located near the new Cleveland Convention Center scheduled to open for business this summer.

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