Greenville Convention Center

Recent LEED Silver Certi- fication demonstrates the understanding that going green is critical to being a responsible member of the local community and the planet. The Convention Center is a public/private venture. It is owned by the City of Greenville and sup- ported through occupancy tax collections to pay the debt services and mort- gage on the facility. How- ever, it is privately man- aged and operated. Prior to 2002, Greenville had strug- gled to get a convention center built. Then, a private investor came forward to partner with the city. Rhesa Tucker, CEO, recalls, “The owner of the Hilton hotel stepped up to the plate for the private sector to join forces with the City of Greenville to build a convention center.We are a small college town and we needed larger meeting facilities and options for conferences and enter- tainment events without having to go to the Univer- sity or the local community college. At the time, the Hilton Greenville was the GREENVILLE CONVENTION CENTER largest hotel in the area, but it was limited in the number of meeting spaces available. So there was a need, not only for our community but all of eastern North Carolina. It took 10 years for the convention center to come to fruition and I was involved every step of the way.” The facility, itself, was built adjacent and ad- joining the Greenville Hilton. Since the original construction of the GCC, the owner has also built a second hotel and purchased a third on the oth- er side of the Hilton, creating a 32-acre campus with the GCC as its anchor, and over 400 sleep- ing rooms physically connected to the facility. Two years ago, the GCC completed a $4.5 million renovation and expansion project; everything ex- isting was completely up-fitted and 11,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and nine new breakout rooms were added. Today, it boasts one of the largest meeting facilities east of I-95 with over 91,000 sq. ft. of total campus space. Located on Greenville Boulevard, the main city thoroughfare, about three miles from the Uptown District and three miles from the Medical Dis- trict, the GCC campus area has now been named the Convention Center District. Because of the public-private venture, there are only about 30 employees at the Convention Center, but it shares banquet employees with the Hilton. In prime sea- son, from 80 to 120 are working in the banquet