Apr 24, 2018 | Detroit Community

Cobo Center drives business growth in Detroit

The transformation of Cobo Center and downtown Detroit have occurred together since the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) was formed in 2009 shortly before the City of Detroit's historic bankruptcy.  Since then, the number of available downtown hotel rooms has grown to 5,384 with more slated to come online this year. The Siren Hotel in the Wurlitzer Building opened last month, the Shinola Hotel will be completed in October and the Element Detroit Hotel in December.

"With more hotel rooms, events are more likely to come to Cobo Center," said Claude Molinari, Cobo Center general manager." Cobo bookings are up 40 percent and revenues are up 150 percent over 2012. Since 2011, attendance to events in Cobo Center is up 24 percent."

The world is beginning to notice the Detroit comeback. Forbes named Detroit one of the 10 coolest cities to visit in 2018. CareerBliss named Detroit the second happiest city in America. The Robb Report named Detroits Apparatus Room in the new Foundation Hotel across from Cobo Center one of the 10 most beautiful new restaurants in America. The New York Times named Detroit the most exciting city in America. And Lonely Planet named Detroit the second top city for "best in travel" in 2018.

"In my twenty years in the event business, I have never been a part of a stronger or more talented team." said Molinari.  "Working together in cooperation with our regional partners, the DRCFA and SMG are committed to providing outstanding experiences for our guests, and growing the business for Metro Detroit."

Detroit attracts about 19 million visitors annually, according to the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. Last year, 1.4 million attended events in Cobo Center. Visitor numbers will likely increase this year with major events, including the National Association of Letter Carriers and US FIRST Robotics .

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