For Immediate Release
June 2, 2005
CONNECTICUT CONVENTION CENTER OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The Connecticut Convention Center at Adriaen’s Landing in Hartford opened its doors to the public Thursday morning during a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Governor M. Jodi Rell and Mayor Eddie Perez. Today’s ceremony came four years and two days after ground was broken for what is now the largest meeting facility of its kind in southern New England.
The convention center is now open for business with up to 35,000 people expected for various events scheduled in this first month of operation.
The Connecticut Business Xpo 2005 is the center’s inaugural event with over 500 exhibit booths filling the 140,000 square foot exhibition space. The Hartford Courant hosted the very first event of the day in the main ballroom and others including the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the Metro Hartford Alliance, The Greater Hartford Arts Council and Mayor Perez are hosting events that will keep the building active and in full use all day long.
“This is a top notch facility that benefits the entire state,” Governor Rell said. “It is my hope that Connecticut residents and businesses will make full use of this convention center as a magnet for new business and commerce. The Connecticut Convention Center gives us a new tool in the effort to create jobs and improve our economy by attracting business from outside our state.”
Hartford Mayor Perez praised the efforts behind bringing a convention center to the state’s capital city. “In the coming years, hundreds of thousands of people are going to use this building for meetings and conventions. They will also get a chance to experience one of our country’s original cities— everything from our history, culture and architecture to the diversity of our people, which is reflected in our shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Hartford will roll out the welcome mat to make everyone feel at home.”
The Connecticut Convention Center allows Connecticut to compete successfully in the convention, meeting and trade show market. In the first twelve months of operation close to 200 events are expected to draw upwards of 250,000 people to the city. The convention center will have a direct impact on the local economy. The average convention attendee stays in a city for 3.3 days and spends up to $268 per day according to convention industry statistics. Additionally meeting and convention planners will need to spend locally for many of the support services associated with their events.
The $271 million Connecticut Convention Center is the largest component of the 30 acre Adriaen’s Landing project in downtown Hartford. Is one part of a citywide effort by the state and the city of Hartford to revitalize Hartford’s downtown business district.
Since 1999, state government has invested nearly $1 billion in Hartford’s renaissance. State funded projects include:
- Morgan Street parking garage
- The renovation of the former G. Fox building for use by Capital Community College
- Financing for the rejuvenation of the Hartford Civic Center
- Financing for the Trumbull on the Park apartments
- Financing for the SageAllen/Temple St. residential project
- Financing for the new Marriott Hotel located next door to the convention center
- Development of a retail/residential district between Prospect Street and Columbus Boulevard
- Rentschler Field in East Hartford
- Funding for continued improvements to the Hartford riverfront
- Funding for various neighborhood housing projects
- Reconfiguration of Columbus Boulevard and the Conlon-Whitehead Highway
This large public investment has been matched by heavy private sector investment in downtown Hartford. Conservative estimates put the level of private sector investment, over the last five years, in excess of $1 billion. Private investment has led to new hotel and market rate housing projects and historic renovations.
Over the next two to three years construction will continue adjacent to the new convention center. Construction is planned starting later this year on the landmark Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration. The Center is a $150 million project scheduled for completion in early 2008. The science center will be a major destination for visitors to the region, but it will also play a key role in educating Connecticut students about the world of science.
Both the convention center and the Marriott Hotel are designed for future expansion. The convention center design allows for an 80,000 square foot expansion and the hotel design allows for the future addition of more than 300 rooms.
The grand opening of the convention center is a major milestone in Hartford’s renaissance, but it is just one part of the overall picture. The state and the city continue to cooperate with private sector partners to improve the vitality of Connecticut’s capital city.
The Convention Center is managed for the state by Waterford Management. For more information about the center or state investments in Hartford’s revitalization we encourage you to visit these websites: