County officials in Des Moines, Iowa, have approved the expansion of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium at the Iowa Events Center. The $41 million renovation will divide the auditorium into two floors. The first would feature a grand ballroom and the second, several meeting rooms, both of which are the kinds of spaces lacking in the current venue.
"[Groups] could do their exhibits at the Iowa Events Center and Hy-Vee Hall, but they didn't have room to do banquet or general session, breakout meetings space so we had to sell them on using the convention complex, which is two and a half blocks away," Greg Edwards of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau told WHO-TV.
The CVB estimates that the expansion could bring 15 to 19 additional regional or national events to the city.
"We are thrilled to now give meeting planners across the country more options and more space in Greater Des Moines," said Vicki Comegys, vice president of sales and services at the Greater Des Moines CVB. "We strongly believe this will lead to increased bookings and more exposure for the city."
The expansion project is expected to be completed in about three years.