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|New Atrium at Cobo Center|
Detroit, Mich. - Despite the city of Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing last week, Detroit is open for business and thriving more than ever before, according to the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB), who assured its clients that their meetings in Detroit will be seamless.
According to Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the DMCVB, the climate to hold meetings in Detroit is better than it has been in decades and rivals most Midwest cities. Last week alone, a 367-room, eight-suite Crowne Plaza Pontchartrain - Detroit Convention Center Hotel opened, adding to an inventory of over 4,000 luxury hotel rooms already downtown.
Cobo Convention Center is more than halfway through its $279 million renovation which is transforming it into a world-class meeting and convention center. In September, its new stunning 40,000 square foot ballroom will be unveiled. Cobo is an independent regional entity funded by its revenue and the state of Michigan. It is not an asset of the city of Detroit and it has never been more financially stable than it is today.
“The private sector has invested in Detroit at unprecedented levels over the past two years, bringing in close to 12,000 new employees and $11 billion in new economic development,” Alexander said. “Officials managing the bankruptcy recognize that visitors and conventions are key to a successful city and will work hand in hand with the private sector to continue the positive momentum in Detroit.”
Like most other major urban areas, Detroit’s challenges exist in neighborhoods with high poverty and unemployment, he added. “Downtown Detroit, where our meetings and tourism assets are centered, is a hub of vibrancy and activity, with first class facilities and amenities, and plenty of entertainment options for attendees to enjoy.”
The restructuring plan is crafted to ensure that services essential to residents, businesses and visitors will continue. The Emergency Manager for Detroit stated last week that residents will begin to see improvements in their services, including public lighting, waste management and police and fire services over the next 30-60 days. Under the restructuring proposal, the city will spend $1.5 billion more over the next 10 years on public safety.
“Bankruptcy is a difficult, but clearly an unavoidable step that will pave the way for a viable and sustainable future for the city of Detroit,” Alexander said. “We are fully supportive of this decision if it will solve the city’s financial challenges expeditiously and allow the city to move forward. Detroit has been enjoying an amazing comeback, and putting our financial house in order is part of that comeback.”
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel and as a film location to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.
Morethan 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB's membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world's first convention and visitors bureau. www.visitdetroit.com
If you need a direct connection to Amtrak, make your way to the Weiser Railroad at Greenfield Village, one of a few heritage railways to have such a modern-day link.