The new Owensboro Convention Center opens for business Wednesday as the Ag Expo begins. The city also has grand opening festivities slated for this weekend.
Work began on the 170,000 square foot, $40-million dollar facility in March 2012. Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne says the finished product is impressive.
“You go in and the lobby is 60 feet high and you have a lot of lot of unique artwork in there and two huge ballrooms up on the third floor. Off those ballrooms to the north and you have a balcony overlooking the Ohio River,” said Payne.
Payne says despite the facility’s size, it will be able to play host to events large and small.
“The exhibit hall can actually be separated into three separate exhibit halls if you want to do it," said Payne. "Or you can take the panels and open up the entire thing. So, lots of versatility which gives you a lot of options.”
Payne says the group operating the new convention center has already booked dozens of events. A concert takes place Friday to mark the opening of the facility, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday morning. The mayor says he has high hopes for what the convention center can bring to Owensboro.
“It’s just unbelievable what’s going to happen here. I’ve told everybody, after Friday when we open up this convention center and have all this activity going on, this will be an entirely different city,” said Payne.