$8 Million Renovation Begins at Oakland Convention Center

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Renovation Coincides with Convention Center’s New Advertising Campaign “A Break From Convention”

This renovation is another example of how Oakland is blossoming.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts (Interstate), operator of the Oakland Convention Center owned by the City of Oakland, announces the start of an $8 million renovation of the 64,000-square-foot meeting facility. Funded by the City of Oakland through redevelopment funds, the project includes complete cosmetic and technology enhancements as well as sustainable and energy management systems upgrades that qualify the venue for LEED Silver certification. Located adjacent to the historic Old Oakland neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., the Oakland Convention Center’s extensive renovation is the next chapter of the city’s recent revival of its downtown and uptown neighborhoods. Inspired by the city’s notable jazz and blues history, the convention center will celebrate the area’s musical history through photography displays and murals.

“This renovation is another example of how Oakland is blossoming. The renovated Fox Theater and Oakland Marriott City Center, together with the thriving downtown area, make the Oakland Convention Center an exciting new destination that will be ‘A Break From Convention’,” says John Mazzoni, general manager of the Oakland Convention Center.

“Oakland is on the rise,” says Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “Visitors from all over Northern California and across the country are discovering Oakland’s charms through our hot dining and hip cultural scene. This remodel and new marketing campaign are perfectly timed to capture even more convention and leisure travel business.” Mayor Quan also noted that Oakland was recently ranked by The New York Times as the world’s top fifth destination to visit in 2012.

The convention center décor of contemporary tones of red, gold, and beige will be similar to the palette used for the Oakland Marriott City Center’s $17 million renovation, which is connected to the convention center. The renovation will also include technology and audio-visual upgrades befitting a meeting venue in one of the most wired cities in the United States. A new, state–of-the-art internet system will be able to accommodate up to 2,500 users at any given time while a sophisticated, programmable energy management system will have the ability to schedule time-controlled energy use of temperature and lighting.

“We have gone from a traditional ‘on or off’ energy method to a cutting edge technology that controls how much and when we consume energy. In a large facility like the Oakland Convention Center, energy savings will be significant and will translate into a huge reduction of our carbon footprint,” says Mazzoni.

Coinciding with the renovation, Interstate is also launching a new advertising campaign that invites meeting and event planners to take “A Break From Convention.” The campaign will include print advertising in meeting industry publications, a new website for the convention center, increased tradeshow presence in key target market segments, and local transit ad placements. A grand re-opening celebration will be held later this year upon completion of the renovations. Details regarding the grand re-opening will be sent in a separate release.

The Oakland Convention Center is located at 463-11th Street, Oakland, Calif. For additional information regarding events, please contact the convention center at (510) 466-6455 or visit http://www.oaklandconventioncenter.com.

About the Oakland Convention Center
Built in 1983, the 64,000-square-foot facility includes an Exhibit Hall totaling 48,000-square-feet and 11 breakout rooms with capacities ranging from 10 to 5000 people. Visitors experience a seamless transition from the convention center to the adjacent Oakland Marriott City Center hotel which offers 489 recently renovated guest rooms and suites. The hotel also provides an additional 25,000-square-feet of meeting space including the Grand Ballroom which connects to the center’s Exhibit Hall for more than 58,000- square-feet of contiguous space. While the attached parking garage can accommodate up to 575 vehicles, the Oakland Convention Center is also a step away from the 12th St. Oakland City Center BART Station where trains connect to cities throughout the Bay Area including a 12-minute ride to San Francisco. The facility was named in honor of George P. Scotlan, one of Oakland's prominent African-American community leaders with major interests in community development, recreation, and other civic endeavors. The Oakland Convention Center is owned by the City of Oakland and operated by Interstate Hotels and Resorts.

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Julie Gallagher
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