Puerto Rico Convention Center

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The Puerto Rico Convention Center (PRCC), in Isla Grande, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Dr. Pedro Rosselló González, Puerto Rico Convention Center (PRCC) (or Centro de Convenciones de Puerto Rico Dr. Pedro Rosselló González in Spanish)[1] is a convention center located in Isla Grande (recently named the Convention Center District), in San Juan, Puerto Rico owned by the Puerto Rico Convention District Authority, a government agency of Puerto Rico, and managed by SMG. Designed by tvsdesign, it is the largest convention center in the Caribbean and one of the most technologically advanced in The Americas.[2]

The Convention Center includes a 152,000-square-foot (14,100 m2) Exhibition Hall that can seat up to 16,965 persons[3] and a 39,500-square-foot (3,670 m2) ballroom that can accommodate up to 4,158 persons. All in all, approximately 25,000 persons can be accommodated within the center simultaneously and can handle conventions of organizations as large as 10,000 participants.

The Center is operated by the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, which also operates the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, also known as the "Choliseo", and the Government Reception Center in Old San Juan, as well as the 113-acre district on which the Convention Center and the atttached Sheraton hotel are located. Its current executive director is Jaime López.

The convention center is named after former Governor Pedro Rossello, who proposed and initiated the design, finance and construction of the structure.

History[edit]

1994 - Governor Rosselló and Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director Luis Fortuño announce the development of the Golden Triangle Project to be located in the Miramar section of Santurce, the old Isla Grande naval station and the Puerta de Tierra section of San Juan.

1996 - Design of new Convention Center commences

1997 - Three-year long relocation and razing of state government facilities at old Isla Grande naval station begins

2000 - Groundbreaking ceremony held and construction begins

2001 - Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority begins operations

2005 - Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá inaugurates Convention Center

2009 - Convention Center achieves 1.5 Million Visitors in 1,500 Events

2009 - Sheraton's anchor Hotel at the Convention District initiates operations

2010 - Gov. Luis Fortuño signs law naming center after his predecessor, Gov. Rosselló

Planification and construction[edit]

The Convention Center has a signature roof imitating a wave, whose theme continues throughout the facility from the 30,000 sq/ft[citation needed] chandelier to the custom designed carpets and door pulls.

Location[edit]

The PRCC is located in the San Juan peninsula known as the historical district of Miramar in what used to be a US Naval Base in Isla Grande. The PRCC is strategically located next to the Isla Grande Airport and the Pan American Port Terminal in order to facilitate guest travel to the Center. Other points of interest nearby are Old San Juan, the Condado district, the San Juan Central Park (Parque Central in Spanish), and Plaza Las Américas.

The PRCC main entrance.

The PRCC District[edit]

The PRCC is part of a planned Puerto Rico Convention Center District (master planned by Sasaki Associates), including a hotel, a 96-unit residential building, office buildings with 50,000 feet (15,000 m) of commercial space, a retail and entertainment complex, a cinema, waterfront cafes, restaurants and walkways.

The main project is the anchor hotel, which began construction on August 28, 2006 and is projected to open in 2009. The hotel was designed under the idea of an "urban resort", and will feature a casino, ballrooms, a music hall, restaurants and will have 500 rooms. Its main feature will be a rooftop pool with cabanas, tropical gardens and views of Old San Juan and the harbor.

The Puerto Rican government selected Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, under its Sheraton flag, to operate the reported $209 million facility.

Facilities and Services[edit]

Front view of the PRCC. Landscaping is still under construction.

The convention center is able to accommodate groups of up to 25,000[citation needed] people with a total space of 580,000 square feet (54,000 m2){{cn]}} and 152,700 square feet (14,190 m2)[citation needed] of total exhibit space subdivided into three halls, all on one level. The center has adjacent parking lots with a total capacity of 1,800 vehicles,[citation needed] although this may be increased in the future.

The facility was designed and constructed to be the most technologically advanced center in Latin America. It can provide broadband and wireless Internet connectivity, video conferencing, and simultaneous language translations, among others throughout the center. All meeting rooms and ballrooms are equipped with Ethernet connection and capabilities. It also has a Business Center which assists business guests and attendees by providing computer and typewriter rental, printing, secretarial service, copying, fax transmission and receipt, package shipping, office products, and other services. A Central Security Office is located within the center, and provides 24 hour security and medical assistance, and modifies it services depending on the activities' and organizers' needs. The Center also has inhouse catering, concessions and cleaning services for any and all activities.

Awards and accolades[edit]

The Puerto Rico Convention Center won the Prime Site Award of Excellence, one of 64 sites selected from the U.S. and Canada. Voted on by meeting planners and other industry members and awarded by Facilities Media Group, publishers of Facilities & Destinations magazine, the Prime Site Award is an annual recognition of special achievement. "Winning the Prime Site Award is particularly fulfilling for the SMG and Puerto Rico Convention District Authority team because facilities must be nominated by users in order to be considered for these awards", said Thom Connors, senior regional vice president of SMG, the facility's management company. "To be selected within the first year of operations is an acknowledgment of the extraordinary effort made by the Puerto Rico Convention team to create a world-class operation during what essentially was its start-up phase."

The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau (PRCB) has received four top meeting and convention industry awards, including Meetings & Conventions’ 2006 Gold Service Award, Successful Meetings’ 2006 Pinnacle Award, Corporate & Incentive Travel's 2006 Award of Excellence and Association Meetings’ Inner Circle Award.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 18°27′10″N 66°05′33″W / 18.452778°N 66.0925°W / 18.452778; -66.0925