Cedar Rapids Gives Green Light to New Convention Center

It's official: The Crowne Plaza Five Seasons Hotel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will close at the end of February to make way for a new and improved downtown convention center, local media reported today.

The City of Cedar Rapids will take control of the hotel immediately after it closes as part of a plan to renovate and re-launch U.S. Cellular Center, the downtown arena to which the hotel is attached. The project includes a remodel of the existing facility, as well as construction of a new, 126,458-square-foot addition.

While it's renovating U.S. Cellular Center, the city also will renovate the Crowne Plaza hotel, which has 275 guest rooms and 22,000 square feet of meeting space.

Opening in February 2013, the new convention center and hotel, known as the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex, will feature approximately 68,000 square feet of exhibit space, 52,500 square feet of ballroom space and 28,000 square feet of meeting room space.

The Cedar Rapids Convention Complex is projected to attract more than 375,000 visitors annually, resulting in $22.8 million of direct spending per year and a total economic impact of more than $34 million per year.