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  • The AHLA says the Dept. of Homeland Security will expand the number of H-2B seasonal guest worker visas available for this fiscal year.
  • The increase in H2-B visas will help small and seasonal businesses to meet workforce demands critical in peak tourist periods.
  • SMG signed a 3-year agreement to continue managing Cobo Center in Detroit. SMG has been the management firm for Cobo since 2010.
  • Highlights of SMG’s tenure include oversight of a major renovation, reduced operating deficit and creation of a technology department.
  • Ground was broken June 20 on the expansion of the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. The 250,000-sf project will wrap up next year.
  • The $130 million expansion includes two new ballrooms, 11 breakout rooms and additional space for the center’s Stay Well Meetings feature.
  • The Louisville Downtown Marriott Hotel is undergoing a $30 million renovation slated for completion in August 2018. The hotel remains open.
  • The Marriott is attached to the Kentucky International Convention Center and offers 50,000 sf of meeting space and 616 guest rooms.
  • AEG plans to acquire four acres in downtown Nashville to be developed as a mixed-use entertainment district at SWVP’s Nashville Yards.
  • The mixed-use district will be anchored by a 4,000-capacity music hall, luxury theatre, live entertainment club, boutique hotel & more.

Hello Columbus: Fern Named Preferred Service Contractor for GCCC

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
December 29, 2016
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Columbus, OH – The Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) named Fern Exposition & Event Services and Mills James preferred service providers for the building beginning in 2017.

Fern will be listed as the preferred general services contractor effective January 1 while Columbus-based Mills James is the preferred provider of production services and the exclusive provider of rigging services.

The announcement followed the recent naming of Levy Restaurants as the GCCC’s official caterer. “Both Mills James and Fern have been great partners of the GCCC through the years,” said GCCC General Manager John Page. “As we look to the future with an expanded and renovated convention center, we expect to raise the bar with continued growth in our customer base and enhanced experiences that will be provided through these new partnerships.”

Fern will provide a full menu of show services to GCCC events. Based in the Cincinnati area, Fern has offices in Columbus and is geared to the size and types of events that take place at the GCCC. The convention center, which is managed by SMG, is in the home stretch of a $125 million renovation scheduled for completion this Summer.

“Fern has served GCCC clients since the center opened in 1993,” said Fern Executive Vice President Mike Cox. “With the completion of the expansion and renovation, Fern is anticipating that the GCCC will continue to attract many events for which Fern’s service offering is well suited.”

Mills James specializes in event and corporate meeting production, mobile apps and digital signage.

Reach John Page at (614) 827-2500 or jpage@columbusconventions.com; Mike Cox at (502) 429-9922 or mcox@fernexpo.com

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