Convention Center gets ready for debut event

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Convention Center is scheduled to open in a few weeks. On November 14, it will be the hot-spot for brides. The Convention Center is scheduled to be open, and the first event is the Cape Fear Wedding Show.

“It’s such a beautiful building. I can’t wait for everybody to see it,” convention sales manager John Sneed said. “There’s been a lot of attention to detail inside the building. It’s very exciting to go in there and see that. I get to see it on a regular basis. I’m just waiting for everybody else to see it.”

There’s still work to be done, like fire and elevator inspections, but it’s all coming together. The Convention Center is scheduled to open November 1.

“I’m glad that it’s opening,” Dana O’Donovan of Wilmington said. “I’m looking forward to it. I hope that it can be another economic engine for Wilmington, because we really need it right now.”

Sneed says Convention Centers are money-generators. Sneed has already helped booked more than $6 million worth of business. Some groups have already booked events in 2018.

“This is something that’s going to affect all the restaurants, all the gas stations, the souvenir shops, all of the things like that,” Sneed said. “When tourists come in, they spend a lot of money, and we’re looking forward to having them spend that here with us.”

The Convention Center is also going to create some jobs. Fourteen full-time employees are needed, and only six positions have been filled so far. Up to 60 people will be needed part-time.

Job openings are posted on Convention Center website at

Even though events are scheduled through the end of this year, the grand opening is not until January.

The Convention Center is paid for with the room occupancy tax collected at New Hanover County hotels.

Categories: New Hanover

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