The Vicksburg Convention Center is a significant economic engine

Published 11:29 am Thursday, October 24, 2019

When news is published that a local facility brought in more than $8 million to the local economy, Vicksburg and Warren County have something to celebrate.

At their annual report meeting Wednesday, the Vicksburg Convention Center announced the facility and its events brought in $8.088 million to the local economy during their 2018-2019 fiscal year. Better yet, the center produced revenues that were greater than the past two fiscal years, hosted more conventions than last year, and on average used less subsidy money from the city of Vicksburg.

The convention center is proving to be an asset, not only to the city of Vicksburg and Warren County but also to local restaurants, hotels and shops.  More than 13,000 hotel room stays were recorded as a direct result of events being held at the convention center. Those are hotel stays that would not have been booked and taxes that would not have been collected if the convention center had not hosted an event. It also doesn’t count the hotel stays that were not recorded as a direct result of events held at the convention center, of which we believe are likely many.

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Perhaps the most impressive piece of the annual report came from the 21 customers who gave testimonials about their experience holding an event at the convention center and working with convention center staff. The testimonies were overwhelmingly positive, and one even stated that the center is “the best kept secret in Mississippi.”

Now that’s really something to smile about.

It’s easy to boast about the economic impact of the center as a whole. It is harder to recognize each and every individual behind the convention center that made their year so successful, not only for the facility but also for Vicksburg. We would like to personally thank the staff of the Vicksburg Convention Center; executive director Annette Kirklin, events manager Erin Powell Southard, sales manager Elyce Curry, business manager Donna Cook Gray, sales coordinator Sue Bagby and technical director Timothy Clark for their work in making the 2018-2019 fiscal year a success and for their community involvement in creating the “Vicksburg Smiles” campaign.

We would also be remiss if we did not thank the Convention Center’s advisory board, Mayor George Flaggs Jr., Visit Vicksburg Executive Director Laura Beth Strickland and Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Pablo Diaz.

It is this team of tourism professionals and government officials who are helping the convention center meet their motto of “going beyond expectations.”