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Atlanta's World Congress Convention Center's Profit Way Up;  Big Help
 Was 10 Conventions that Moved from New Orleans to Atlanta

By Leon Stafford, The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionMcClatchy-Tribune Business News

Jun. 28, 2006 - --One month before the end of its fiscal year, the Georgia World Congress Center -- metro Atlanta's main meetings facility -- is way ahead of its profit projection.

The GWCC ended May with a net profit for the year so far of $5.1 million, Executive Director Dan Graveline said Tuesday at a meeting of the facility's governing authority. That contrasts with the net profit the center was anticipating to have earned by this point in the year of about $2.3 million.

Revenue for the first 11 months topped $33.2 million, well above the $28.1 million anticipated. The GWCC's fiscal year ends Friday.

Part of the business boom can be attributed to the more than 10 conventions that moved from New Orleans to Atlanta after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

But Graveline said the increase also is a result of an uptick in revenue for catering, parking and utilities based on better-than-anticipated convention attendance.

"All the related services to events did very well last month," Graveline said.

The rosy picture is significant to the GWCC because this time last year officials at the facility were predicting a possible $1 million loss in this fiscal year based on a still-recovering convention business. In February, officials revised their budget to finish the year in the black after attracting the New Orleans gatherings.

At the end of the meeting, the authority surprised Graveline with an award recognizing this year as his 30th as the center's leader.


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