Creating a Championship Campus

By Joe Bocherer, Chief Commercial Officer, Georgia World Congress Center Authority 

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority continues to gain momentum in 2020 with several game-changing projects. Designed with current and future customers in mind, we will continue to transform our downtown Atlanta campus into one that is unrivaled in North America. We are creating a championship campus. 

In January, we celebrated the first expansion of Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) since 2002. Our new 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall creates more than one million square feet of connected space for current and future customers and puts GWCC in the upper echelon of convention centers in the U.S. to offer this option.  

This expansion has also opened the door to more than 30 new city-wide conventions that previously could not consider Atlanta due to GWCC’s size. We now can pursue these elite shows, and we’re closing on them routinely with our partners at Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau – over the next 10 years, we have 173 events made up of new and existing clients that will utilize the new exhibit space as part of their shows. 

Another key element of our vision for a championship campus is our new headquarter hotel, Signia by Hilton, which, combined with Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, will deliver more than 2,200 hotel rooms connected to the east and west sides of our building. Groundbreaking is set for this spring (on a portion of the former Georgia Dome site) with plans for completion in fall of 2022.  

The first Signia by Hilton built from the ground up, this upper upscale hotel will feature 975 guest rooms and boast 72,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 40,000-square-foot ballroom (which will be the largest in Atlanta), an executive boardroom, outside/lawn event space, and an 11,000-square-foot event deck overlooking The Home Depot Backyard.  

Along with all the unique, flexible meeting space options Signia by Hilton will create for our convention and meetings customers, the amenities package we are creating will be just as amazing. Dining options will range from a signature high-end restaurant and lobby lounge bar to an all-day market/restaurant and pool bar with outdoor café. There will be a swimming pool and premium wellness experiences such as a whirlpool, sauna, fitness center, and spa all designed to make our guests feel their best. And this hotel can’t sit next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium without offering a destination sport bar – we’re going to have one of the best the city has to offer. I think amenity-wise, Signia by Hilton is going to be unparalleled in the market.  

The customer arrival experience and the ability to offer a walkable, connected campus are other important customer touchpoints. We are adding a new, multi-level parking deck that will create easy access to not only Georgia World Congress Center, but also Mercedes-Benz Stadium and, once it opens, the hotel. The parking deck will open later this year.  

Conceptual work continues on the transformation of Andrew Young International Blvd. into a pedestrian-friendly experience from Centennial Olympic Park up through our campus to the new Signia by Hilton hotel and also includes a transportation depot designed to alleviate congestion and improve traffic.  

Along with the facility projects, we also are focusing on improving GWCC’s wayfinding system to make navigating our 4-million-square-foot building easier for guests.  

I mentioned earlier that we are creating a championship campus, one with a package of facilities unrivaled in North America. From the GWCC expansion and new headquarter hotel to a new parking deck and pedestrian-friendly improvements on Andrew Young International Blvd. coupled with Mercedes-Benz Stadium and $27 million in capital improvements at Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority is well on its way to making this vision a reality. Come visit with us and see what all the excitement is about—we couldn’t be prouder of what this campus and city has to offer, southern hospitality at its best. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *