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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.

GWCC’s Smith to Retire in 8 Weeks; Zimmerman Moves Up

Trade Show Executive
,
September 1, 2004
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Atlanta - Mark Zimmerman will become the  General Manager of the Georgia World Congress Center effective November 1st, filling the shoes of John Smith who is retiring after working 30 years for the State of Georgia.  The announcement was made by Dan Graveline, GWCC’s Executive Director. Smith will be trading meeting rooms and exhibit halls for a classroom. “Professor  Smith,” as he will now be called, will  continue his career as adjunct professor at Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration. 

Zimmerman will manage over 400 employees at the GWCC and oversee marketing and operations.  He  has been GWCC’s Assistant General Manager since 1995,  and began his career there  in 1984 as a concessions supervisor.  He was promoted to Senior Event Coordinator and later Director of Event Services. Over the years, he had  key roles in numerous high-profile events, including the 1988 Democratic National Convention, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. He also served as Assistant General Manager of the Cobb Galleria from 1992 to 1995.

Zimmerman identified sales as a priority, telling Trade Show Executive magazine,  “Increasing our share of customers is our number one opportunity and goal.”  With 1.4 million square feet of prime exhibit space, the GWCC is the fourth largest convention center in Trade Show Executive magazine’s 2004 Millionaire’s Club, a ranking of convention centers with over one million square feet of exhibit space. Reach Mark Zimmerman at (404) 223-4000 or mzimmerman@gwcc.com; John Smith at (404) 223-4000 or jsmith@gwcc.com.

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