Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cook Convention Center Expansion To Be Studied

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 2:23 PM

A group may soon be formed to study the possible expansion of the Cook Convention Center.

The Memphis City Council will consider a joint resolution with the Shelby County Commission on Tuesday to “establish a Memphis Cook Convention Center Expansion Study Committee,” according to the council’s committee agenda published Wednesday afternoon.

Such a group would certainly not be the first formed in Memphis to discuss the future of the aging convention center. Then-Memphis-Mayor Willie Herenton formed a study group in 2008 to replace the Cook and similar proposals have come before the city council since then.

But the pressure to up the city’s convention game rose this year after the $585 million Music City Center opened in Nashville this summer. The enormous space is expected to compete nationally for meetings conferences and the like and will likely capture some of the Cook’s market share.

The Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau began managing the Cook Center two years ago. CVB president Kevin Kane told a council committee earlier this month that Memphis is, indeed, losing conventions and meetings to Nashville and that the Cook needs an upgrade and that city needs more hotel space.

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