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New manager selected for Hawaii Convention Center

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 02:30 p.m. HST, Jul 03, 2013

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has ousted SMG Hawaii, which has run the underperforming Hawaii Convention Center since it opened in 1998, and awarded the facility's next management contract to LA-based AEG Facilities.

“This announcement represents the rebirth of the convention center for a new era in Hawaii,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA.

Taxes generated from the spending of visitors and groups using the convention center has covered the cost of its operations, the tourism authority said. However, the HTA said it believes that the center can perform at a higher-level. AEG Facilities, which is a leading venue management organization, will be responsible for boosting use of the facility.

“We are truly excited to partner with the HTA and all of the hospitality stakeholders to build on the foundation in place and attract new and diverse events to the facility," said Bob Newman, president of AEG Facilities, which has a presence in more than 100 venues on five continents.

HTA’s current contractor, SMG Hawaii, will manage the center through December. AEG’s contract starts Jan. 1, 2014. HTA will work closely with AEG to keep most of the 70 employees who work for SMG Hawaii.

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allie wrote:
hope they can save the overbuilt tomb called the convention center
on July 3,2013 | 02:48PM
Anonymous wrote:
Hawaii taxpayer money funding a mainland company... which provides servant labor jobs to Hawaii citizens...lose money. The rail will be very similar...
on July 3,2013 | 05:03PM
paradisetax wrote:
This money sucking monstrosity should never have been built its current location. Totally out of place. Should have been built in Waikiki where conventioneers could easily access. We are stuck with a huge white elephant(kinda like the Hilo airport).
on July 3,2013 | 02:59PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Where in Waikiki could it have been built?
on July 3,2013 | 03:19PM
radianthawaii wrote:
On the Ala Wai Golf Course land with plenty of space available for parking. A pedestrian bridge over the Ala Wai so that the tourist conventioneers could easily walk to it. The choice for the current location seemed less about making a great convention center, and more about how you could influence development along Kapiolani Blvd. Who benefited by this location choice?
on July 3,2013 | 05:22PM
Hugo wrote:
During planning for the Convention Center, taxpayers asked the City why the building could not be used by taxpayers when not being used for conventions. The City immediately farmed out control of the facility to a contract operator who refused to let the people who paid for the building use the building. Some of us seniors were even willing to pay a small service charge to use the building. Now that the Y on Atkinson is being closed you can expect to see more of us seniors on benches at Ala Moana Center. Only in Hawaii.
on July 3,2013 | 03:21PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Hugo,the Convention center is city operated?
on July 3,2013 | 10:35PM
inverse wrote:
Convert part of the Convention Center to a Gambling Casino with a kids learning area to keep them busy. Legislatures need to pass a law that will allow ONLY one Gambling casino at the convention center. Adults who after attend a conference at the convention center can spend some time in the Convention center casino. I will not be visible from the outside and the inside will NOT be gaudy like Las Vegas, rather a local theme. Offer poker, 21, cr aps, etc. Guarantee Hawaiian Air and Boyds gaming will pay big money to lobby legislatures to NOT have such a casino in Hawaii. While they are at it they should legalize prost ituion on Oahu and make it ONLY available some place away from residential areas and make it completely illegal in Waikiki and town. Get rid of the street pi imps and require all "workers" to register with the State, check their age and citizenship and pay a registration fee that has to be renewed every year to the State and have to pay GET. Then HPD can crack down on the illegal street pi mps, escorts, etc and end the trafficking of woman as the woman who work in the trade will not have to work "underground"
on July 3,2013 | 03:50PM
iwanaknow wrote:
This will never happen................too much common sense in these ideas.
on July 3,2013 | 04:06PM
bumby2day wrote:
They make a killing on the parking, its not 5.00 dollar or 7.50 but 10.00 dollar to park in the Convention Center. I use to pay 5.00 dollar and one day it's 10.00 dollar and most people have to pay that because you need to park there, so the Hawaii Convention Center can pay their bills.
on July 3,2013 | 04:50PM
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