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San Marcos residents and Elected Officials were present in great number to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony of the $21 million Conference Center on Thursday. Mayor Susan Narvaiz’ State of the City Address was the first event hosted at the city owned facility. The 77,300-square-foot structure is equipped with state-of-the-art, high-tech capacities for high-end audiovisual needs, and it is expected to host a wide range of conferences, including auto and boat shows, high-tech exhibitions, graduations, special events, and business meetings of all sizes. The facility has 40,000 square feet net meeting space, which includes a 28,000-square-foot main ballroom, a 7,000-square-foot junior ballroom to 19 meeting rooms.
“[The Conference Center] is exceeding all of my expectations, it’s beautiful, it is big, it’s opulent, it is a great representation of San Marcos and the business and the type of people we want to attract here to come and spend money in our town,” said Council member Kim Porterfield.City Manager Rick Menchaca said the Conference Center has about $3 million in pre-sales in terms of planned conventions. “This is another slice of the pie when it comes to economic development,” said Menchaca. “Conventions and tourism have been a part of our community but with a limited basis when it comes to the convention side. With a vicinity of this size, the nature and the level of it, especially because of where we’re located… it’s showing the successes coming in already, that we can recruit a lot of conventions to this area.”
The Conference Center is located adjacent to an Embassy Suites Hotel that has a scheduled grand opening for December 9. The $50 million hotel is owned by John Q. Hammons and managed by Springfield, Missouri based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, LLC. The hotel has 283 suites, fully staffed resort style spa with massage and treatment rooms, fitness rooms, heated outdoor pool and heated spa, a business center, and a full-service restaurant, coffee shop, and atrium bar. Both structures were originally intended for erection at a 15-acre site overlooking Spring Lake, however, the project was later moved to its current location on McCarty Lane and Interstate 35.
“This compliments the type of growth that we want,” said Porterfield. “Especially here near the outlet malls; and to help support our retail and bring people in to see what San Marcos is about.
by Andy Sevilla
News Section Editor
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