Detroit Ponders Dearborn Conference Center

The Detroit Metro Visitors & Convention Bureau is seriously considering the idea of building a conference center in nearby Dearborn, Mich., according to local newspaper Press & Guide. The idea was first floated in 2001, when the city conducted a feasibility study to explore it. Now, the paper reports, the CVB is revisiting and reconsidering its vision with a follow-up study.

"Everyone knows [Cobo Hall] is the major convention center in the area, but we believe Dearborn is a great place for a conference center," Dearborn Economic & Community Director Barry Murray told the Press & Guide. "A regional survey showed that Dearborn is a top area for a conference center. This would be regional, as well, not just for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties."

A nine-acre site near Dearborn's Hyatt Regency has already been chosen for the potential new conference center, which the city estimates would generate $147 million in revenue for local merchants, along with 90,000 room-night stays at area hotels. Currently, the Hyatt offers meeting space for groups of between 600 and 700 people; the new conference center would accommodate as many as 1,200.

The Detroit CVB's latest feasibility study is examining not only the potential benefits of a Dearborn conference center, but also the potential costs. Results of that study are expected to be available later this month.