The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in Buffalo, N.Y., began work early this month on a $7 million facelift that's scheduled to keep the facility closed for business until Sept. 10, according to local media reports.
It's hoped that the renovation — which will equip the convention center with a new entrance and electronic marquee, as well as wireless connectivity, a redesigned kitchen and an upgraded exhibit hall — will help Buffalo compete for new meetings from regional and national groups.
"Although these upgrades will keep some business out of the center for a period of 12 weeks this summer, the board believes this work will improve the facility's appeal for many years to come," Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Management Corp. Board Chair Gary Praetzel said in a statement this February, upon announcing the renovation. "The time has come to upgrade this 30-year-old facility to ensure that Buffalo Niagara remains competitive in the meetings market."
By closing the facility completely while work is underway, the convention center will be able to complete the project within three months; keeping it open during construction would have prolonged the project to 10 months.
"From my point of view, this really gets us into a position to be able to compete," Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen told local newspaper The Buffalo News. "There was such a lack of investment over the past however many years that we really lost our market position. We couldn't compete. We now can get in there and go after some events that we haven't been able to get for quite some time."