The King of Prussia District and the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board recently released the findings of a study on the feasibility of a meetings and events center in Montgomery County, Pa.
Excitingly, the research shows the idea of a center with 125,000 square feet of space, including an exhibit hall, banquet hall and meeting rooms, is highly supported. The study also found that those in favor believed the facility would have a positive effect on the economic development of the county.
Specifically, the study concluded that the economic impact of the center’s first year would be roughly $49.2 million. Five years down the line, the total economic impact is estimated to be $85 million, including $15.6 million in employee salaries and wages. The center would create a total of 719 total jobs. It also is estimated that after year five, the center will host 226 events with nearly 111,000 attendees generating 52,737 hotel room nights.
"In the past three years, Montgomery County has added 10 new hotels, increasing its room night supply by approximately 10 percent," says Mike Bowman, president, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board. "In 2012, when the Valley Forge Casino Resort opened, that added a new attraction and recreation option to the region, but it also resulted in a reduction of 54,000 square feet, or about one third of the meeting space, at the Valley Forge Convention Center. Given the increase in hotel rooms and the decrease in large meeting space, KOP-BID and VFTCB felt it was time to explore the concept of a new, state-of-the-art meeting facility as a way of growing corporate, association and convention business in the region and creating greater demand for overnight visitation."
Through an unbiased scorecard, which analyzed local market conditions, including infrastructure; companies and employees; existing hotels; retail offerings; and demographics, the study found King of Prussia would be the ideal location for the venue.
"KOP-BID and the VFTCB believe this executive meeting and events center is a terrific opportunity for a developer of these types of facilities,” says Eric Goldstein, executive director, King of Prussia District. “In addition to providing conventional meeting space, the facility could also serve as an event and entertainment center, potentially creating strong synergies with the wide variety of amenities and facilities that currently exist in King of Prussia and Montgomery County. Both organizations are willing to assist an interested developer with the potential availability of public funds, as well as and site selection ideas,"