(Columbus, August 30, 2017)  — The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA) Board of Directors has approved a two-year contract renewal for worldwide venue management leader SMG to continue managing the award-winning Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC).

“SMG has earned the FCCFA’s renewed confidence and trust as a business partner by managing over 680 events during our recent two-year venue expansion and renovation project,” said FCCFA Executive Director Don Brown. “The GCCC is already one of the busiest convention centers in North America. The GCCC’s goal is to also offer the premier convention center experience. By collaborating with SMG, we’ll receive the best-in-class service commitment needed to achieve our aspirations.”

The two-year contract extension begins January 1, 2018 and concludes December 31, 2019. A series of three two-year contract extensions can be authorized to potentially retain SMG as the facility’s management company through 2025.

Selected by the FCCFA as the management company for the GCCC in 1997, SMG has guided facility operations to perform better than budgeted financial projections each year since then.

“We are excited about the facility’s grand opening celebration and thank the Authority for the opportunity to be part of this exciting project,” said Bob McClintock, senior vice president and chief operating officer for SMG’s Convention Center Division. “We appreciate the confidence in us exhibited by the board of directors.”

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to continue to be the FCCFA’s partner in progress as we begin to share with our worldwide guests the stunning results of our facility’s renovation transformation and our accompanying customer-centered services that will serve to make the GCCC the crown jewel of convention centers,” added GCCC General Manager John R. Page.

The $140 million GCCC expansion and renovation completed in July features 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and 447,000 overall, 75 meeting rooms, ballroom space totaling 114,000 square feet and 4,000 onsite parking spaces. Beyond these qualifying assets designed to attract a desired caliber of events, the GCCC offers differentiating amenities to add value for attendees:

  • Artwork: The GCCC features the largest contemporary collection of Franklin County art, including a huge, interactive signature piece to be revealed August 31.
  • Collaboration spaces: The South Cafe & Marketplace, Discovery Café, clamshell-style social seating, and pods of casual furnishings throughout the main concourse and beneath colorful node walls offer options for visitors to relax and enjoy as gathering places.
  • Connectivity: Internet capabilities via Smart City include accommodating 20,000 simultaneous users. Access points more than doubled from 110 to 250. Increased bandwidth provides greater capacity and speed while a duplicate system enables maintenance to be performed on the primary system without service interruption.
  • Culinary creativity: Exclusive caterer Levy’s Discovery Cafe offers local cuisine and beverages within the Homegrown Café, Columbus Grille, CBUS Tap Room and Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea and is the home of the Live at Lunch local entertainment series the first Thursday of each month.  The indoor, vertical Smartfarm is the first in a convention center and produces nearly 5,000 pounds of vegetables and herbs annually for culinary use.
  • Guest Service: Visitors to the facility are welcomed by the city’s largest contingent of Certified Tourism Ambassadors and two Guest Services Centers.

About the FCCFA

The FCCFA owns and develops Nationwide Arena, Hilton Columbus Downtown, the GCCC and the GCCC’s four affiliated parking facilities. The FCCFA owns the land upon which the Hyatt Regency and Drury Inn & Suites connected to the GCCC reside. The FCCFA issues tax and lease revenue bonds supported by hotel tax receipts, and currently levies a 4 percent countywide hotel occupancy tax and an additional 0.9 percent citywide hotel occupancy tax; those rates have remained unchanged since 1988. The FCCFA is overseen by an 11-member board appointed by Franklin County, the City of Columbus and suburban municipalities.

About SMG

SMG turns 40 in 2017! Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.