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Dig! Convention Centre megaproject under way!


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The design has again been revised. Rendering credits, officedweller from SSP

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

I'm really enjoying this greenery and foliage on top of everything like hot fudge on a sundae trend.  :wwww:

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Vancouver is truely a top notch convention city.

Vancouver Tops in North America for International Association Meetings

Vancouver Sun

11 June 2005

Vancouver is now North America's top destination for meetings of international associations, says the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) of Amsterdam.

In 2004, the city hosted 31 conventions of international associations, more than any other city on the continent.

"This establishes Vancouver's appeal among meeting planners and delegates from around the world who look for an exceptional meeting experience mixed with the tourism appeal of an outstanding destination," said Tourism Vancouver President and CEO Rick Antonson.

The ranking makes Vancouver the 30th most popular destination for conventions in the world, up from 34th spot two years ago. Most of the cities that ranked higher in the ICCA report were European cities, reflecting the fact that 64 per cent of international associations are based in Europe.

In terms of North American cities, Montreal was 35th, followed by Chicago (41st), and Toronto and Washington, D.C. (tied at 60th). New York was 70th.

Barbara Maple, general manager of the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre said the achievement was a great indicator of the success of Vancouver's convention industry.

"This accomplishment is a result of the strong profile and cooperation of Tourism Vancouver, the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre (VCEC), the hotel community, and tremendous work by our city's professional conference organizers and destination management companies," said Maple.

"At the same time, it's an exciting indicator of what's ahead, with our expansion about to triple the size of the VCEC. We're looking forward to hosting larger groups -- and more of them -- in 2008 and beyond."

Over the past three years, Vancouver has averaged 21 citywide meetings with more than 1,000 delegates each. In 2004, the convention industry contributed more than $1 billion to the local economy.

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Not surprising to me at all. It's also one of the hot spots for world indigenous peoples meetings and conventions now, which is something hard to become a hot spot for since especially in North America groups are so vastly spread out.

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Now this is coming from a Maritimer kid, (aka the right coast lol) but, the building is pretty much everything architechture is supposed to be, useful, to the point, with out looking austentacious. Kerry, for somebody who rambles on like they know what they are talking about, Frank Lloyd Wright said "architechture is never about beauty, architecture is about function as space, and space as the form". This building is exactly that. You just don't like the idea it doesn't have flashy lights, or something like that, go move to NYC then. All I'm curious about is, if I move to Van, could I nap on the roof during the summer?

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Now this is coming from a Maritimer kid, (aka the right coast lol) but, the building is pretty much everything architechture is supposed to be, useful, to the point, with out looking austentacious. Kerry, for somebody who rambles on like they know what they are talking about, Frank Lloyd Wright said "architechture is never about beauty, architecture is about function as space, and space as the form". This building is exactly that. You just don't like the idea it doesn't have flashy lights, or something like that, go move to NYC then. All I'm curious about is, if I move to Van, could I nap on the roof during the summer?

well red dog even in new york you do have a certain amount of buildings that dont make a grand flashing statement but are very functional.

Many of Frank Lloyd Wrights buildings really melded into the environment they were placed and it is the small details that dont hit you in the face from ten miles on a clear day that speak to his genius. The johnson wax building is a good example of a building that FLR designed and does not seem like much when you see it. Go inside

and the lily pad columns and roofing are incredible.

jim jones

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Actually, the Convention Centre might recieve a lot more attention that we may think... the World Forum that was hosted in Vancouver during the summer also talked about the Convention Centre and they liked the idea that it was going to be environmentally friendly.

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Expanded convention centre wins contracts

Paediatric group signs two-year deal

John Bermingham, Province Thursday, January, 04, 2007

2059.jpg

The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre has bagged a number of big-name conventions for its expanded facility.

The U.S.-based Paediatric Academic Societies has become the first group to sign a multi-year deal for the new facility. PAS plans to stage its annual meetings here in 2010 and 2014.

Each meeting will attract 7,000 visitors to Vancouver and generate $10 million in business for the local economy.

Dave Gazley, Tourism Vancouver meeting and convention sales vice-president, called the deal a "signature piece of business" for the centre. He said a PAS member came to Vancouver in September to scout for locations and fell in love with the city.

The client was attracted by the integrated services being offered -- hotels, flights and transportation -- in a convenient package.

"We've got several groups that are definite now for the expanded centre," Gazley said yesterday. "And we have a huge number more we are working on to confirm for the city."

They are professional-group conventions, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 delegates.

The convention centre expansion will triple the facility's size to 500,000 square feet when it opens in late 2008.

Tourism Vancouver estimates that the city loses out on $150 million annually because of its limited size and Gazley said the bigger centre will put Vancouver in play for new business.

"It really helps us talk to more groups than we have in the past," he said. "This will really put us into a new ballpark. It's going to be one of the nicest convention centres in the world."

The $615-million expansion is supporting 6,700 construction jobs, but is expected to attract $229 million in annual delegate spending, and create 7,500 new jobs.

According to Tourism B.C., there were 10 per cent fewer delegates to the VCEC last year, compared to 2005.

Figures show VCEC had 211,717 delegate days, down from 235,545 in 2005, and 250,000 in 2004.

© The Vancouver Province 2007

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Ok. Let's get something clear here. A structure does not have to be ugly to be environmentally friendly. Do use your noodle!

WTF... who said it's ugly?!!! It's beautiful (I think...). Who are you refering to? Geez.... like what Mr. X said, all your comments regarding Vancouver is negative...

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Convention Centre Cost Overruns

As any PR person will tell you, when you want to publish good news, put out a release on Tuesday morning. If you want to bury a story, release it on Friday - preferably late in the afternoon.

So it should come as no surprise that the latest bad news about the Convention Centre expansion project came out last Friday.

(Link to Vancouver Sun article here).

convention_centre_feb_2007.jpg

Essentially, the project is now set to cost about $800 million, 'more than 40% over its original budget' of $565 million.

Furthermore, the completion date has now been pushed back from November 2008 to March 2009, although this will still allow enough time to set up the international broadcast centre for the Olympics.

The two main factors behind the cost overruns and delays - escalating construction costs due to the current building boom, and unforseen soil problems with the waterfront pile-driving.

convention_centre_ii_feb_2007.jpg

Now, not to excuse what appears to be the fault of poor contingency planning, but there seems to be another side of this equation that is going under-reported - that is, the same economic boom that led to rising construction prices has also contributed to increased government tax revenues.

Put another way - we can better afford these cost overruns today, than we could when the project was initially announced five years ago.

Should BC taxpayers be concerned about the cost overruns? Yes. Should they be as upset as some will insist they should be? Probably not.

Source: http://www.pacificmetropolis.com/

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Liberal arithmetic: $800 million so far is only 'in the range'

Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2007

VICTORIA - Finance Minister Carole Taylor says today's budget still won't have a take-it-to-the-bank costing for the Vancouver convention centre expansion, despite forecasts of another huge overrun on the troubled project.

"We say in the budget that it is in the range of $800 million," she told reporters Monday, echoing the number put out last week by minister-for-the-project Stan Hagen.

But "in the range" is as far as the finance minister is prepared to go at this stage: "I'm very careful."

Her hesitation arises from the fact that she's still waiting for an updated financial report from the provincial agency that is building the project on the Vancouver waterfront.

"Treasury Board has not received the report that will identify exactly where the costs are and how we will move forward," she explained. T-board is the cabinet's budget-making committee, which she chairs.

But Taylor agreed that, even without any further escalation, the project has gone well over budget.

"It is a concern," she conceded, adding that the feeling was shared by everyone involved in the project. "It is a concern that the budget is so much larger than it was originally projected to be."

That's putting it mildly. Just four years ago, the B.C. Liberals were promising that the convention centre expansion could be completed "on time and on budget" for just $495 million.

Premier Gordon Campbell was equally reassuring at the official sod-turning, less than 21/2 years ago.

"This will be on time and on budget -- count on it," Campbell declared as he fired up a backhoe for the ceremonial excavation of the construction site on Nov. 8, 2004.

The key was the B.C. Liberal government's superior approach to management of public sector construction projects.

"There are contingencies built into the project," he explained, "and it is going to be run professionally."

Actually, the Liberals were resorting to one of the oldest dodges in the book -- boosting the budget, then claiming they could stay within the revised figure.

For, as Campbell spoke, the official definition of "on budget" was already $565 million, up $70 million from the initial number.

Ten months later, the B.C. Liberals tried the same trick again, boosting the budget to $615 million, and saying they could definitely, for sure, no kidding, finish the project for that amount.

But these numbers were tossed out without any detailed public acknowledgment of what was happening to the construction costs.

The initial budget was predicated on a four-per-cent-a-year rise in construction costs. Ten to 15 per cent was more like it.

Even when the bids started coming in well above projections, the Liberals never 'fessed up to the dubious nature of their forecasting on what has been characterized (by them) as "the biggest construction project in B.C."

At the time they floated the $615-million figure, less than half the tenders had been called. That supposedly firm figure was no more than a guess, and not a very good one at that.

Today, with the project mostly tendered (more than 80 per cent, the Liberals said last week, just under 90 per cent, they said Monday) the tab is still running.

It won't be $1 billion, Hagen assured reporters Monday.

Phew! That's a relief.

"It'll be in the range of $800 million," he went on to insist.

But project managers are still working to nail down a more precise figure, via high-level negotiations with the builder, PCL Construction.

The goal, Hagen says, is to get PCL to agree to finish the project for "a lump sum."

At this late day, the builder is surely in the driver's seat in those negotiations.

Construction well under way. Government needing the expansion finished for the Olympics. Labour shortages. Cost escalation well-documented. Public alert to repeated stories of overruns. Politicians scrambling for cover.

Wouldn't you like to be the negotiator for the other side: "Here's my proposal: We'll finish it and send you the bill. You pay up. How's that for a lump sum?"

However those negotiations come out, the cost is already running 60-per-cent ahead of the original promise, 40-per-cent higher than Campbell's "count on it," budget.

Nor is the project on time. The Liberals were initially building for an opening in the summer of 2008. The latest target is spring of 2009, or almost a year behind schedule.

All this is doubly bad for the Liberals because Campbell staked his own credibility on that claim of on time and on budget.

"The premier didn't know what the heck he was talking about," as Opposition critic Harry Bains put it in the legislature Monday.

Exactly so. But don't expect to hear the Liberals admit it.

vpalmer@direct.ca

© The Vancouver Sun 2007

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