Vicksburg Convention Center is an investment providing tremendous returns

Published 5:06 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Each year, the city of Vicksburg is on full display for the rest of the state and region to see during the annual Miss Mississippi Competition. The bright lights of the competition place a spotlight on our city, our residents and, by putting on an amazing show each time, our facilities.

Vicksburg is able to pull off the annual competition, not just because of the amazing volunteers, the sponsors and the stakeholders, but also because of the facility the competition calls home for more than a week.

The Vicksburg Convention Center is an absolute feather in the cap for the city of Vicksburg. The convention center’s meeting rooms and exhibition hall welcome hundreds — if not thousands of visitors — each to special events, conventions and parties. And, the annual Miss Mississippi Competition is a true showcase for what the facility is capable of hosting.

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Annette Kirklin, director of the Vicksburg Convention Center, and her team do an amazing job, whether the event is a small meeting or reception or a large convention or Miss Mississippi Competition.

The ability of Kirklin and her team to meet any group’s needs is obvious, given the number of repeat customers they are able to book, and the number of events they are able to lure from other cities and regions.

The economic impact to the city of Vicksburg and Warren County from events hosted at the convention center is significant. Estimates place the economic impact of the Miss Mississippi Competition alone to be in excess of $2.3 million; and that is just one event on the center’s calendar.

In recent years, the city has made investments in the building such as a new escalator and needed improvements to the roof and other parts of the facility.

That is money well spent.

Over the coming years, more investments will be needed to keep the convention center updated and ready to host events of tomorrow. There will be technical upgrades needed and the facility will continue to need dollars spent on upkeep. Again, that money will be money well spent.

So, as we look back on Miss Mississippi week, it is easy to fixate on the winner and those who earned scholarship money. But, we also need to look back and realize it was the city of Vicksburg — and the overall economic impact brought about by the competition — that proved to be the real winner.