News for the Hospitality Executive
Bay, Jamaica (January 11, 2011) - Montego Bay Conference Limited, a
wholly owned subsidiary of Jamaica’s Urban Development Corporation
(UDC) has signed an agreement with the international company SMG to
market and manage the Montego Bay Convention Centre, located in Rose
Hall, St. James. The agreement which was signed on January 5, 2011,
after months of negotiations will be in effect for a seven year period
in the first instance, with the option to renew for an additional three
Miss Joy Douglas, general manager of the UDC has expressed confidence that SMG, based on its worldwide operations and its track record for marketing and managing convention facilities is the right fit for the state on the art convention centre. The Convention Centre is the first in the English speaking Caribbean facility to be added to the fold of SMG, joining Puerto Rico, the only other facility from the region. SMG, in addition to its US based operations, is also engaged in Europe, Turkey, Canada, Mexico and Chile.
SMG for its part noted that the company was particularly pleased to have extended its operations to Jamaica, where as they have stated, “The Elegant Corridor needs a first class curator.” The company is prepared to place its considerable expertise and experience as well as investing to ensure the success and viability of the Jamaican convention facility. According to Senior Vice President Gregg Caren, “we have been tracking the development of this stunning new complex for a number of years, and are excited to add it to our portfolio.”
SMG president and CEO Wes Westley announced that Dittie Guise, a long time member of SMG’s management team, has been named general manager of the MBCC. “Born in Jamaica, educated in England and with SMG training in the U.S., this is a wonderful homecoming for Dittie who will have a unique perspective to ensure the project’s success,” Westley noted.
The contract will see SMG involved in the reviewing of interior furniture and fixtures, developing operational plans, recruiting and training staff, developing sales, marketing, advertising and promotional programs in cooperation with the Jamaica Tourist Board. SMG will also be responsible for booking and event management and all related services for the Centre.
The Montego Bay Convention Centre was constructed by the UDC through the China National Complete Plant Import Export Corporation (COMPLANT), to enhance the country’s competitiveness in the meetings and conventions market. Prime Minister the Honorable Bruce Golding will on Friday, January 7, 2011, open the Centre, ahead of the first event, the Caribbean Market Place scheduled for January 16-18, 2010.
Photo: SMG's Gregg Caren and Dittie Guise (second and third from right), in front of the Montego Bay Convention Centre construction site in November. From left, they are joined by local partner Wayne Sinclair of MSE, Jerry Braud of SMG's team at the Broward/Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, and Nicholette Wade of the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
Since 1977, SMG has provided management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities worldwide, including arenas, stadiums, theatres and performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, convention, congress and exhibition centers, science centers and a variety of other venues. Across the globe, SMG manages more than 12 million square feet (1.1 million square meters) of exhibition space and over 1.5 million arena and theatre seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 100 accounts worldwide.