Wilmington Convention Center

The Wilmington Convention Center in downtown Wilmington NC.

One of the factors that increased tourism in Wilmington is the Wilmington Convention Center. An advantage of the Center is that it draws visitors to the Wilmington area 12 months a year and allows them to see other parts of our community, potentially enticing future visits at another time. As the largest convention center on the North Carolina coast, the Wilmington Convention Center attracts big conventions previously held in Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.

The Center is fronted by more than a mile of scenic Riverwalk and is enhancing the beauty of the city on what was once an abandoned and derelict industrial site.

Built with Room Occupancy Tax dollars, the facility has a 30,000 square foot Exhibit Hall and 12,000 square foot Grand Ballroom plus 15,000 square feet of pre-exhibit space, a 12,000 square foot event lawn and 5,784 square feet of meeting space.

With Green Efficiency in mind throughout, the center is an eco-friendly building with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification pending.

In fiscal year 2014, the Convention Center held 124 events. The largest increase came in the number of conventions, with 14 events versus eight the year before. The center also generated 9,128 room nights for area hotels, a dramatic 59 percent increase from the prior year.

For the current fiscal year, the center has at least tentative commitments from approximately 135 events, including eight conventions. The convention center remains a positive factor in Wilmington’s economic growth. Events at the Wilmington Convention Center are sure to grow when additional hotels adjacent to the center open. That may happen as early as 2017.

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