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Record Medical Meetings at San Diego Convention Center Generate $1B in Regional Impact

The San Diego Convention Center is proud to have delivered on its promise this year to serve as the region's premier gathering place.

The Corporation's Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report is out, showing conventions hosted at the center generated $1.1 billion in regional impact to San Diego. With 149 events taking place between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, the San Diego Convention Center marked several records, including a record 21 medical conventions this fiscal year including BIO, Neuroscience 2017 and the American Society of Hematology.

In fact, six events out of the top 10 events that generated the highest hotel and sales tax revenues, which goes directly into the City of San Diego's General Fund, were medical meetings.

Medical events accounted for 22 percent of overall attendance and 49 percent of the convention center's economic impact. These attendees spent a record amount while visiting the region, a total of $327.9 million.

Here are other notable achievements: 

  • $673 million: Second highest spending amount by attendees visiting the convention center
  • 844,382: Record hotel room nights booked in a fiscal year
  • Second highest occupancy since 1989
  • LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council

At 76 percent occupancy, the facility is operating much higher than the national average of 50 percent. The practical maximum occupancy for any facility is 70 percent, which means at some point, business is turned away.

"San Diego is a great destination package," said President & CEO Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe. "It has great hotels, entertainment, restaurants and a convention center all within walking distance, with an airport only 10 minutes away. And we are told time and time again that our customers choose the San Diego Convention Center because we go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service. Our venue carefully balances our commitment to our guests with the relationship of our surrounding community and regional stakeholders, while maintaining a positive and encouraging environment for our esteemed staff."

Through the events, 898,913 individuals went through the convention center's doors. And during their stay, they contributed to the San Diego economy, spending $673.9 million, the second highest amount ever recorded. Here's a breakdown of where the money was spent:

"Each guest who attends an event at our convention center in the heart of our city is helping improve the economy of San Diego," said Gil Cabrera, Vice Chair of the Corporation's Board of Directors. "These attendees helped generate $25.4 million in sales and hotel tax revenues, which funnels straight into the City of San Diego's General Fund."

The city uses the general fund to pay for police and fire services, libraries and parks as well as to repair city streets.

Also this year, the San Diego Convention Center earned a LEED Gold Certification, making it among the most sustainable buildings in the industry. The corporation also launched the largest series of building upgrades and renovations in its 28-year history.

Here is a look at your return on investment when it comes to the San Diego Convention Center.

We invite you to read our Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report.

Barbara Moreno's picture
Posted by Barbara Moreno, on December 6, 2017
Meeting Planners, News and Developments

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