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The potential future for the Chattanooga Convention Center

We’re breaking down the findings from the Chattanooga Convention Center Futures Study.

NOOGAtoday | Chattanooga Convention Center

Read about the potential future of the convention center + weigh in with your ideas.

Photo provided by Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Table of Contents

Earlier this year, the Chattanooga Tourism Co. teamed up with Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL) to conduct a thorough study into the future of the Chattanooga Convention Center + its role as a destination.

The goal of the study was to help inform strategic decision-making regarding the convention center’s “development, sustainability, governance, and future opportunities to align with the dynamic needs of event attendees while generating the greatest social and economic returns for our community.”

“Meetings, conventions, and sporting events generate significant economic and social benefits to our community every year, " said Chattanooga Tourism Co. CEO + President Barry White. “Embracing the recommendations from this research will allow us to shape a vibrant convention district adorned with public art, shopping, and diverse dining options, ultimately enriching the Chattanooga experience for residents and visitors.”

NOOGAtoday | Convention Center

Imagine the convention center lined with large public art displays + digital advertisements for local businesses.

Photo by Matthew Mendenhall via Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Now, the study’s findings have been released — and there’s a lot to break down. Here are some of the highlights:

Areas to address

  • Plateaued occupancy levels
  • Supporting hotel challenges (nearby hotels not having enough available rooms to host impactful conventions)
  • Disconnect from key downtown areas
  • Improving competition
  • Ballroom falling short in the marketplace

Proposed improvements

  • Leveraging Chattanooga’s world-leading 25-gig capacity to provide cutting-edge digital amenities.
  • Enhancing shared spaces + incorporating outdoor spaces.
  • Providing extensive improvement to the pedestrian experience between the convention center + key areas of downtown.
  • Surrounding the outdoor space with lighting + light-up installations to improve perception.
  • Providing a new multi-purpose space (ways to use the current ballroom).
  • Constructing a new headquarters hotel on an adjacent site (with the potential to create an up-to-standard ballroom).

Now that the findings have been released — what’s next? The key findings, proposed improvements, and the financial impacts will be assessed by the convention center’s stakeholders for its next steps.
A full presentation of the findings will take place during one of the free professional development breakout sessions at this year’s Chattanooga Tourism Summit on Tuesday, Sept. 26. There will be a Q+A session to discuss further information.