Owensboro Convention Center Books First Convention
Global Spectrum, managers of Owensboro’s soon-to-be-opened Convention Center, announced today the official booking of their first convention. The Green River Firefighters Association signed a multi-year contract to host the GRFA Officers School at the Owensboro Convention Center beginning in February 2015.
The Officer’s School, hosted by the Green River Firefighters Association, is one of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s largest training conferences boasting nearly 1,200 attendees over a three and a half day period. GRFA signed a three year contract for the school for 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The official signing took place yesterday at 6:30 p.m. at a public event held in downtown Owensboro near the construction site of the center. Several local firefighters, GRFA members and elected officials were in attendance for the announcement. The signing took place above the parking lot in one of the Owensboro Fire Departments Ladder trucks. I was there and took a few pictures of this historic event. It was good to see so many community leaders show support for the first booked convention.
The school started in Owensboro 24 years ago (1988) and was held at the former Executive Inn. Upon the closing of the Executive Inn, the GRFA was forced to make a very difficult decision and moved the school to Lexington. Ever since the first Lexington school in 2009, the GRFA worked to bring the event back. Their initial call to the Owensboro/Daviess County CVB was followed by a series of meetings and presentations by the local sales team comprised of the Owensboro Convention Center, Owensboro/Daviess County CVB and City of Owensboro. The “Team Owensboro” group worked closely with GRFA to make it happen.
“We never wanted the Officers School to move from Owensboro in the first place and it was unfortunate that we had to move it once the Executive Inn closed,” said Ricky King, President of the Green River Firefighters Association. “ The opening of a new convention center in Owensboro was great news all around and we are excited to have the Officers School back home in the Green River district. Thanks again to the City of Owensboro, Global Spectrum, the Kentucky Fire Commission, State Fire Rescue Training, and the member departments of the GRFA for your help in bringing this event back to Owensboro. ”
The four day convention will use nearly 1,500 local hotel room nights annually. According to the Owensboro/Daviess County CVB, this equates to over $400,000 in direct economic impact to the Owensboro/Daviess County community and surrounding areas based on spending estimates of convention delegates.
“This type of event is precisely why Owensboro is building this first class facility, to host these types of positive economic events in the community,” said Dean Dennis, Global Spectrum’s General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center. “We are thrilled to have our first signed convention contract and look forward to many more as we move closer to the 2013 opening.”
Bill Parrish, Owensboro City Manager added, “There is great anticipation in the air and it is so exciting to see our convention center start to fill bookings a full 17 months before its scheduled opening. It is also heartwarming to see old friends come back home to Owensboro; the firefighters of the Green River Firefighters Association have been long missed and are happily welcomed back home.”
The Owensboro Convention Center is set to open December 2013 and has several events and contracts currently in various stages of confirmation. For more information regarding hosting your next event at the Owensboro Convention Center contact Laura Alexander, Sales Manager at 270.687.8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.