August 29, 2007

City commissioners in Augusta, Ga., voted last week to build a Trade, Exhibit and Events Center with 40,000 square feet of meeting space next to, and operated by, the existing 374-room Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites, which currently has 45,000 square feet of meeting space. To cover ongoing operating costs of the center, a $1-per-night tax will be added to all hotel bills in the city. The Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau expects construction to begin in about a year.

The Santa Clara (Calif.) Convention Center's 24,000-square-foot ballroom expansion, which was approved by city officials back in 2004, will finally break ground on Sept. 24. The estimated cost of the project has increased to $37 million, due to additional enhancements to the on-site catering facilities as well as higher construction costs. The expansion is slated to open in March 2009.