Spectra Wins Convention Center, Will Work with VisitDallas to Elevate KBHCCD as World-Class Meeting Destination
DALLAS (February 27, 2019)—The City of Dallas City Council unanimously approved Spectra, one of the nation’s leading venue management and hospitality companies, as the new provider of venue management for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas (KBHCCD) in a multi-year partnership starting April 1, 2019. For the first time in its 62-year history, one of the largest convention centers in the nation will be run by a private operator.
“We’re eager to roll up our sleeves and get started,” Dave Anderson, Spectra’s Senior Vice President of Convention Centers, said. “Spectra is heavily invested in Dallas and appreciates everything the City and VisitDallas have done to position the city and surrounding community in the international marketplace. We look forward to working in concert with the City and VisitDallas to align the convention center with the city’s amazing assets to show meeting planners all that Dallas has to offer.”
Operating in a role historically maintained by City of Dallas employees, Spectra will focus on short-term bookings, while VisitDallas will continue its focus on booking the KBHCCD 18 months out and further, in addition to other venues throughout Dallas.
“Partnering with Spectra is going to help VisitDallas continue its best-in-class, customer-focused service, and its addition gives us new, meaningful ways to spotlight our city as a must-visit destination,” Phillip Jones, President and CEO of VisitDallas, said. “We look forward to introducing Spectra to a new crop of meeting planners, while also rekindling relationships with conventions that have visited Dallas in the past.”
Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, the KBHCCD annually welcomes more than one million visitors attending major national and international conventions, meetings, concerts, athletic competitions, and auto shows. The venue, connected to a 1,001-room hotel via a skybridge, offers one million square feet of exhibit space, three ballrooms, 88 meeting rooms, a 1,750-seat theater, and a 9,816-seat arena.
Spectra will manage day-to-day operations to increase revenue and improve the client experience. The company will help transform KBHCCD into a must-visit destination for show planners by examining the current booking practices, making changes to ensure optimal efficiency, re-evaluating space availability, and committing additional money to VisitDallas’ marketing efforts. Spectra’s ability to leverage existing relationships and operational standards will benefit KBHCCD when negotiating contracts and pricing.
In October 2018, Dallas City Council unanimously voted to award Fair Park First the 20-year Fair Park management contract. The nonprofit is partnering with Spectra to operate the 277-acre property, which is home to the Centennial Building, Cotton Bowl Stadium, the State Fair of Texas, and 1.2 million square feet of covered exhibit space.
“Managing both Fair Park and the convention center presents a unique opportunity for Spectra to help position Dallas as a premier hub for entertainment, athletics, conventions and the community,” Dave Scott, Spectra’s Chairman and CEO, said. “We’re honored that Dallas is entrusting us to use our deep experience and industry relationships to collectively energize these two city-owned gems.”
“We are excited to welcome Spectra as our new partner in Dallas,” said Brad Kent, Chief Sales Officer and Senior Vice President of VisitDallas. “Our organizations’ skillsets are naturally complimentary, and I look forward the continued job and financial growth resulting from this partnership, for the residents who call Dallas home.”
Spectra currently operates 174 facilities, including 45 convention centers and 56 arenas. Specifically, Spectra has optimized operations for similar convention centers, such as the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Atlantic City Convention Center, the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, and the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Spectra also manages a blend of services for several other facilities in Texas, including: Texas Tech University Athletic Facilities in Lubbock, Southwest University Park in El Paso, Ford Park Entertainment Complex in Beaumont, Hill Country Youth Event Center in Kerrville, Ortiz International Center in Corpus Christi, Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds Complex in Robstown, and Wichita Falls Multi-Purpose Events Center.