Conventions leave Baltimore as center awaits updates
BALTIMORE (AP) — Several conventions have announced departures from Baltimore, dealing a blow to the city’s hospitality industry.
WBAL-TV reports the outmoded Baltimore Convention Center is at the crux of these decisions. One of the organizers behind the Natural Products Expo, Adam Andersen, says they’ve “outgrown” the Baltimore Convention Center, and will thus relocate to Philadelphia in 2020.
In 2017, Asian pop culture convention Otakon left Baltimore for Washington, D.C., and the Baltimore-based BronyCon will end in 2019.
Visit Baltimore CEO Al Hutchinson says the departures translate to lost tax revenue and income, and affect area restaurants and hotels. He says it’s necessary to consider expanding the convention center to bring the conventions back.
Mayor Catherine Pugh says updating the convention center will be a priority in the next state legislative session.
Information from: WBAL-TV, http://www.wbaltv.com