Explore St. Louis Announces America’s Center Upgrade

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America's Center Convention Complex, Explore St. Louis, St. Louis, renovation, convention center, Cervantes Convention Center, Missouri
America’s Center Convention Complex; Photo Credit: Explore St. Louis

St. Louis is only getting better for meetings.

Last year, the city announced a second phase of its Ballpark Village project that would include a new convention hotel. And, now, both St. Louis city and county have come together to announce the AC Next Gen Project, which includes plans to update and expand its America’s Center Convention Complex, making it competitive in the meetings market.

The $175 million project will include a modernization of the Cervantes Convention Center, one of four distinct meeting facilities within the convention complex. Built in 1977, the Cervantes Convention Center will undergo a major modernization, with the addition of 92,000 sf of exhibit space. The project will also include a 65,000-sf multipurpose ballroom with 20,000 sf of pre-function space. And operations will be made much smoother with construction of 26 new loading docks and a renovation of the existing 12.

One of the most innovative aspects of the project, however, is its outdoor pavilion, which will add a beautiful outdoor space for attendees to gather in between meetings. Planners can also get creative with ways to incorporate it into their event.

The convention complex already hosts about 100 events that draw more than 600,000 attendees to the city each year. The enhanced Cervantes Convention Center will create nearly 36 percent growth in event bookings at the complex, according to recent estimates from Johnson Consulting.

“The America’s Center plays a critical role as an economic driver for the entire region,” says Kathleen Ratcliffe, president of Explore St. Louis. “The complex is truly a window for the hundreds of thousands of event attendees who visit us and are hopefully inspired to return here for future leisure or business event purposes.”

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