Ground was broken by community leaders on Monday, May 1, during a Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. Hickory Construction Company is the contractor for the $14 million renovation and expansion, which will add more than 46,000 square feet to the convention center. Once the project is complete, there will be a total of more than 132,000 usable square feet on one level. The project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2024, and over the next 20 years will be paid for by Hickory and Conover room occupancy tax revenues and event revenue generated from the convention center.
Mandy Pitts Hildebrand, CEO of the Hickory Metro Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, welcomed all in attendance and said it’s a moment that many people have been looking forward to, especially the staff. “There is so much positive momentum that has brought us to this day and it’s because of collaboration and collective wisdom of looking to what the next 5 to 25 years looks like in the meeting and event industry, as well as sports tourism, that we believe will make this renovation and expansion a success.”
Hickory-Conover Tourism Development Authority (HCTDA), which is the government entity that oversees the Hickory Metro Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, was created in the 1980s. The Hickory Metro Convention Center experienced many successful growth periods over the decades. This groundbreaking marks the next evolution of its progress.