A new convention center manager could soon be in place, following a recent vote by the Capital City Convention Center Commission.
Recently, the commission approved hiring OVG Facilities to manage the downtown center.
OVG, a Chester, PA firm, would replace the longtime manager, SMG World.
According to its website, OVG manages more than 30 facilities across the United States, 11 of which are owned by the University of Houston. Convention centers managed by the agency include the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center, in Virginia, Grand Junction Convention Center in Colorado and the Savannah Civic Center in Georgia.
Commissioners approved the hire at their June meeting, said board attorney Charlene Priester.
The decision now will be taken to the Jackson City Council, which must sign off on the hire, she said.
The commission issued a request for proposals for new management in December. Three firms responded, including OVG, Spectra and ASM, the firm formerly known as SMG, Priester said.
A committee made up of commissioners, hotel and restaurant representatives, city leadership and tourism officials reviewed the proposals.
“They conducted an exhaustive evaluation of all three companies. They looked at the proposals submitted, conducted interviews, and after completing the interviews, asked each company to answer financial questions,” Priester said.
“I’m proud of how diligent they worked through this process.”
SMG had managed the center for years. In September, SMG approached the city saying it had failed to meet its budget, and that it needed an additional $130,000 from the city to stay afloat. The city ultimately gave SMG about half that amount.
SMG has overseen day-to-day operations of the downtown facility since it opened.
The commission will discuss their management choice at a council work session on Monday, July 6.