The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, recently announced the selection of AEG Facilities to manage the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC).
AEG Facilities, one of the world’s leading venue management organizations, will be responsible for the management and operation of the HCC, as well as working collaboratively with the HTA’s “Meet Hawaii” team in marketing the convention center and the Hawaiian Islands as a premier business destination.
AEG Facilities has more than 20 years of experience in the management of convention centers, as well as arenas, stadiums and other facilities. With a presence in more than 100 venues on five continents, the Los Angeles-based organization will be able to immediately position the HCC in some of the HTA’s key Meetings, Conventions and Incentive (MCI) markets, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
“This announcement represents the rebirth of the convention center for a new era in Hawaii,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written release. “Our three priorities are to focus on further strengthening our “Meet Hawai‘i” sales and marketing strategies, realigning HCC’s operations and management to elevate the facility’s global presence, and enhancing and expanding the function, use and service beyond a traditional convention center.”
While the total tax revenue of the HCC has covered the cost of operations over the years, the HTA believes there is opportunity to perform at a more optimal level. AEG Facilities will be responsible for boosting and optimizing usage of the facility. Their global presence and influence will hopefully be a tremendous asset in increasing bookings and drawing international visitors for Hawaii’s growing MCI market, which is in line with the HTA’s strategic plan for diversification and sustainability of Hawaii's tourism economy.
The HTA and its board of directors will continue efforts to study enhanced uses for the convention center, including the development of a center for Hawaiian music and dance that will strive to honor and perpetuate Hawaii’s unique host culture, while creating an attraction to draw visitors and residents to the facility.
The HTA’s current contractor, SMG Hawaii, will manage the HCC through December with AEG’s contract commencing January 1, 2014. SMG Hawaii has managed the HCC since its opening in 1998. SMG Hawai‘i currently employs roughly 70 employees. The HTA is working closely with AEG in their efforts to retain a majority of the HCC staff, as well as ensure a smooth transition when their new contract takes effect.