St. Louis-based design firm PGAV Destinations was retained in 2005 to master plan and design St. Charles’s grand Convention Center, just a few short minutes from the Missouri River and the famed beginnings of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The facility measures 154,000 sq. ft. and features two ballrooms, exhibit space, an executive board room, 296-suites, and provides in-house catering, decorating, A/V, marketing, and event staffing.
Over the last decade, the Convention Center has hosted 113 conventions and 3,506 events, totaling more than 2.2 million guests. Some of the largest events hosted included guests Grape and Wine, Midwest Education Technology Community Conference, Talent on Parade, The National Genealogical Society, and The Pioneer Network. The array of services for these kinds of large events has helped the Convention Center win the Facilities and Destinations Prime Site Award for eight years running.
“One of the indicators of success is staff retention, demonstrating that you’ve created a place where people love to work and want to stay,” said Shura Garnett, regional vice president of Spectra Venue Management and general manager of the St. Charles Convention Center. “Of our 39 full-time employees, nearly a third will be celebrating ten years with us this year, while the overall average is six years. That says something important when you’ve only been around for ten years!”
Since 2005, the Convention Center has seen a number of renovations and improvements, including a new roof, carpeting, phone system, and wireless network system. The Convention Center has also upgraded all of its lighting to high-efficiency LED lighting, constructed a new parking lot, and implemented other improvements including a new marquee, digital signage, recycling program, and the ability to transform the exhibit hall into a meeting room or ballroom.
“The St. Charles Convention Center’s current occupancy rate for 2015 is 61%,” said Kristin Bowen, Convention Center marketing manager. “A realistic, maximum target occupancy for a convention center is 70%, and we’re working diligently to achieve that goal.”
Since 2005, the Saint Charles Convention Center has created an impressive economic impact of $66,931,592 in direct spending for the City of St. Charles. The Convention Center has recently been the recipient of three distinguished regional awards:
- One of St. Louis’s Top Workplaces in 2015, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- 2014 Employer of the Year, the City of St. Charles
- Facility and Destination Prime Site Award winner, eight years running
For more on the Convention Center and its achievements, visit their website.