SeaGate Convention Centre Strategy
In 2015, the 22nd Century Committee, a partnership of business, civic, and community leaders, was formed to lead the charge in developing a strategic direction for Downtown Toledo, which was formalized through the Downtown Master Plan (the organization has since evolved to form ConnecToledo). Through this process with strong public support, the SeaGate Convention Centre (“SeaGate”) was identified as a key component to revitalization efforts.
Development Strategies was then hired by the Lucas County Board of Commissioners to analyze SeaGate’s challenges, opportunities, and impacts on the future course of the Downtown and regional economies.
Development Strategies analyzed convention centers in a number of peer markets and conducted a series of meetings and interviews with over 40 key stakeholders, including civic leaders, economic development organizations, members of the hotel, hospitality and tourism industries to gain a better understanding of SeaGate’s strategic context and identify key factors for future success.
Development Strategies also conducted an economic and fiscal impact analysis on SeaGate operations and visitor spending and concluded that with some level of investment, SeaGate would be better positioned to increase annual attendance, especially from out of town visitors, and contribute to the momentum of Downtown Toledo’s ongoing revitalization efforts.
Lucas County has since moved forward with implementing recommendations from the study, including plans for a 16,000 square foot ballroom addition and substantial redesign of the façade as well as redevelopment of the former SeaGate Hotel, which had been vacant since 2009.