PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The recent expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center is paying big dividends for the Philadelphia economy.
Jack Ferguson, president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, which books conventions here, says since the new section opened in March (see related story) three key conventions were able to put millions of dollars into the local economy, especially the hospitality and restaurant sector.
Ferguson says an international technology education group, an architectural and commercial lighting show (related story), and a registered nurses organization (related story) came to Philadelphia because of the expanded facility.
“They would not have been able to be in Philadelphia if we did not have an expanded center,” Ferguson says. “The building has really turned on the ability to perform for larger shows or two functions simultaneously, and that’s exciting.”
Ahmeenah Young, president of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, which manages the facility, says she sees the expansion as boosting employment.
“The success of this convention center, as the economic engine in hospitality, drives the jobs,” she told KYW Newsradio.
And Ferguson says the success of those events also pointed to the need for more hotel rooms in center city.
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060