Costa Rica’s first convention center opens with a big league bang.
Now that this country’s reputation for being a sustainable adventure destination has been well established, Mauricio Ventura Aragon, minister of tourism, says it’s time to focus more on meetings. He’s doing so with the new LEED-certified Costa Rica Convention Center in San Jose—four miles the Juan Santamaria International Airport—which debuted this month.
“Sustainability is a priority in Costa Rica, and the center is no exception. It has everything that would be expected for a project of this kind today: solar panels, water treatment plants and LED lighting, as well as other things that Costa Rica considers a priority, such as reforestation of the whole area and the construction of lakes to get a more park-type convention center rather than a concrete construction.”
Costa Rica’s first convention center spans 25 acres and holds room for more than 6,500 attendees in spaces that are naturally lit and naturally primed for green meetings.
Bioclimatic, environmental and sustainable architecture anchor the Costa Rica Convention Center, and attendees who are concerned about the size of their meeting footprint will appreciate behind-the-scenes features like LED lighting, rainwater recycling and solar-powered energy throughout.
The main hall holds room for close to 4,200 attendees and can be divided into three sections. There is also a VIP lounge and on-site restaurant, along with six conference rooms, six meeting rooms and large foyers and pre-function areas for receptions.
Groups can carry over the Costa Rica Convention Center’s sustainable vibe with ecotourism adventures to volcanoes, rainforests and waterfalls where zip lining, climbing and rappelling, whitewater rafting and diving are on the agenda. Rural tourism activities are also gaining ground on the meetings and incentives front. These programs allow attendees to interact directly with locals and experience hands-on their culture, customs and traditions.