Seattle is growing as a destination for meetings.
It’s hotel inventory will grow by 20 percent next year, with eight new properties coming online to the tune of 2,500 additional rooms for a total of 14,343 rooms in the downtown area. But that’s not all. The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) recently broke ground on a new 250,000-sf building that will bring a whole slew of new meetings business when it debuts in four years.
“The WSCC’s Summit building is one of the largest capital projects in downtown Seattle’s history and creates new opportunities to generate more economic impact for the region,” says WSCC President and CEO Jeff Blosser. “This additional facility is a game changer for our ability to give meeting planners additional dates and space with the opportunity to book their events in Seattle. We look forward to the opening in 2022.”
The expansion couldn’t happen soon enough either. In the past five years, the city has had to turn down more than 350 event proposals due to lack of space or timing constraints at the existing convention center facility. That business loss? About $2.13 billion.
At the groundbreaking, officials took the opportunity to officially name the WSCC’s buildings. The existing facility will be called Arch, named after the WSCC’s popular sky bridge and canopy arch that connects the facility along Pike Street. And the Summit name for the new building is also a nod to the architectural design, inspired by Seattle’s geography.
Once completed, the Summit building is expected to bring more than 400,000 new attendees to the city. Designed to be LEED Gold certified, the facility will also incorporate a lot of glass, bringing in natural light and creating a connection to the outside. It will also piggyback off of the WSCC’s existing public art program, which highlights the city’s cultural history by displaying works from local, Northwest artists.