West Conshohocken, PA (September 6, 2016) – The Century Center Board of Managers has unanimously voted to approve extending its contract with SMG and Savor, SMG’s culinary services division, for continued management of the Century Center in downtown South Bend.
After the vote, board chairman Greg Downes noted “When we hired SMG in 2013, we asked them to concentrate on three things: reducing net operating loss; increasing hotel room nights; and improving customer service. They have delivered in all three areas, and we hope and expect them to help us improve even more over the next three years.”
The three-year contract extension begins January 1, 2017 and concludes December 31, 2019. SMG will continue to provide full management and operational services for the region’s sole convention center.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the relationship we have built with the Century Center Board, the City of South Bend and Visit South Bend”, said Gregg Caren, executive vice president of SMG’s Convention Center Division. “For us it’s all about promises made and promises kept, and we appreciate the vote of confidence these partners have given us based on our performance.”
SMG was awarded the management contract for the Century Center South Bend on July 1, 2013. Since then, SMG has hosted over 1,500 events, attracting over 521,000 visitors. Since 2013, sales efforts have contributed to the use of over 20,000 hotel room nights in Saint Joseph County. The tax funds generated by these room nights, as well as the revenue generated by the Century Center are the only means of funding for the venue in downtown South Bend.
By partnering with Visit South Bend/Mishawaka and Downtown South Bend to create exceptional experiences for those who live, work and play in South Bend, SMG has proven that the Century Center is a viable convention venue with signifi-cant economic and cultural impact on the community. The creation of the South Bend Alliance – one of SMG’s initiatives in assuming management and food & beverage services from Spectra and Centerplate in 2013 – has united the Down-town Convention District partners and stakeholders in a common goal to increase the economic impact of conventions and other convention center business, as well as grow overall tourism for the City of South Bend.
In addition to consolidating management and culinary services under one contract, there are many visible improvements over the last three years that have targeted energy and other operational efficiencies, as well as customer service. The Center has updated its lighting controls and building automation systems to enhance energy efficiency. It has also in-stalled a new roofing system that increases thermal insulation, further reducing energy costs as well as housing 90 solar panels in partnership with the South Bend Office of Sustainability.
Noteworthy recent events include hosting three Presidential candidates – Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz – within five days of each other, the South Bend Jazz Festival, Northern Indiana Bodybuilding Championships and Press Ganey Associates, Inc.
Significant upcoming events include the International Association of Water Rescue Professionals this fall, Small Market Meetings in 2017, and the IFCA International Convention in 2018.
“From the day I arrived in South Bend, the hospitality community has rallied to help advance our common mission. It has been so fulfilling to me personally, and our company,” added Leanna Belew, SMG’s general manager at the Century Center.