The vote to expand Iowa Events Center, specifically Veterans Memorial Auditorium, has been approved.

Polk County Supervisors approved a resolution today that should help draw more convention business to Greater Des Moines. Leaders voted unanimously to spend nearly $42 million to renovate and expand Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

“This expansion opens up more opportunities for conventions to be brought in to the city,” says Vicki Comegys, Vice President of Sales and Services at the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB). “We are thrilled to now give meeting planners across the country more options and more space in Greater Des Moines. We strongly believe this will lead to increased bookings and more exposure for the city.”

The expansion, which will include the addition of a grand ballroom and several meeting rooms, will allow Des Moines to compete with other cities in the region for meetings and conventions.

“Convention-goers like their meeting spaces to be connected,” says Greg Edwards, GDMCVB President and CEO. “The expansion of Veterans Memorial Auditorium is critical in getting larger conventions to Des Moines. This is a great day in Des Moines’ history.”

The GDMCVB has been involved in discussions throughout the plan development phase. The expansion is estimated to bring 15-16 additional regional/national events within the first 3-5 years of project completion. Regional and national conventions are expected to grow to 43 events by year 10. This is expected to result in convention related visitor spending of $38.8 million, according to Economics Research Associates April 2008 study.

Interview Potentials:
  • Greg Edwards, President and CEO, GDMCVB – The impact of today’s decision.
  • Vicki Comegys, VP of Sales and Services, GDMCVB - Selling Greater Des Moines, nationwide.
  • Meeting planners that have wanted to hold their large events/meetings in Des Moines; approval of space now allows them to consider moving their event to Des Moines.