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The Wilderman Group Chosen by the City Council of Gastonia, North Carolina to Manage
the Gastonia Conference Center, a Cornerstone of the City's Revitalization Project

Charleston, SC) – March 2011 - The City Council of Gastonia, NC named the Charleston, SC-based Wilderman Group to manage the Gastonia Conference Center, the two-story, 29,000 square-foot complex being developed along Marietta Street between Main Avenue and Franklin Boulevard.  Scheduled to open in late 2011, the center will feature classic red brick with stately columns and a front balcony on its façade. Two prominent, monumental staircases on the front will be visible at night through illuminated glass.

The Gastonia Conference Center is part of the significant downtown revitalization of the city of Gastonia and is being developed to drive economic resurgence in the area. The conference center will serve as the ideal venue for all types of meetings and events serving civic organizations and local business, as well as luncheons, family reunions, or group gatherings and    weddings.   The elegant, modern and contemporary venue is iconic and evokes community pride, while complementing the surrounding downtown architecture and style.

With 5,000 square feet of flexible space, the ballroom accommodates over 300 people for banquet seating, or over 400 people for auditorium-style seating. The ballroom features cutting-edge technology with traditional furnishings and appointments, and can be divided into four separate rooms. All space is designed with a high level of flexibility and comfort.

The facility is designed according to the standards of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) including conference technology, comfort, design, lighting, and food and beverage considerations.  The interior space is elegant, modern and contemporary with timeless, classic design elements throughout.  Six convenient breakout rooms totaling more than 3,600 square feet are also available in close proximity to the ballroom and accommodate groups of 20 to 60 people each.

Gastonia Conference Center will generate a significant number of jobs in the construction phase and will provide sustainable jobs when open. The facility will provide a positive economic impact for the community and will support local businesses, restaurants, and hotels.

City Manager Jim Palenick says the conference center is expected to be the cornerstone of the downtown revitalization project.  “There is a lot of positive momentum going on in downtown Gastonia and I think that will continue as this project moves forward,” said Palenick. “This is what the citizens of Gastonia have been waiting for; to see downtown Gastonia come alive again; to see it all actually happening.”

Architectural designer Tim Demmitt of Charlotte-based Overcash Demmitt has created a building as dynamic as possible. “It will be complimentary of the surrounding architecture,” he said.  “It evokes some elements of local history, but has a number of modern elements in the design.”

Kristin Kurie, President of The Wilderman Group, commented that the Gastonia Conference Center is “an integral part of the robust revitalization of Gastonia’s historic downtown area that will create a strong sense of community.”  The municipally owned facility will have a positive impact on the community’s economic vitality through the retention of dollars within the community and supporting and preserving small locally owned business.

LEED Certification
The design of the Gastonia Conference Center is in accordance with the stringent criteria established by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for LEED GOLD certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  Environmental/ sustainable features will be implemented throughout the Center.  The sustainable design will follow the rigorous standards for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality and innovative design.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.  Green buildings are safer, healthier, more comfortable, and more durable than conventional structures.

The conference center will also feature a three-story parking deck with 229 spaces including surface area parking.  The parking deck will include nine conveniently located electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for hybrids, electric, and other plug-in vehicles. This exceeds the criteria established by the US Green Building Council.

The City Council of Gastonia first selected The Wilderman Group as the hospitality firm to support the City of Gastonia with responsibilities that include providing pre-opening sales, marketing, financial and operational direction throughout the construction phase of the project. The Wilderman Group focuses on a clear objective and develops a purpose-designed critical path of development, technical, and advisory services carefully crafted to meet these objectives.

The City Council recently announced that The Wilderman Group was also selected to manage the day-to-day operations of the Gastonia Conference Center when it opens later this year. General management responsibilities include overall staffing, operations, revenue management, sales and marketing, food and beverage services, event booking, and environmental stewardship.

The Wilderman Group  is a woman-owned hospitality management company that provides focused services both customized and cutting edge with a concentration in the Carolinas and the Southeast. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, TWG is a full-service hospitality management firm with a team of industry experts in all areas of hospitality including, operations, sales and marketing management, food and beverage, and environmental programs.  They specialize in civic and community developments and creating effective and productive environments for meetings and conferences. They are steadfast in their commitment to environmental stewardship and are proud and active members of the US Green Building Council’s Charlotte Regional Chapter, South Carolina Chapter, Georgia Chapter, and the International Association of Conference Centers.  For details on the capabilities and services offered by The Wilderman Group, visit the website at or call 843.670.5056.

James M. Mahon
914 548 5835


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Also See: Kristin D. Kurie Appointed as President of The Wilderman Group / February 2011

The Wilderman Group Names Kermit Griffin as Director and Executive Chef of Richmond Hill City Center, Richmond Hill, Georgia / October 2010

The Wilderman Group Appoints Jeannie Green General Manager at Richmond Hill City Center, a Conference Center Located in Richmond Hill, Georgia / February 2010

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