MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Developers and Muskegon county and city leaders are looking to build on the success of the recently revamped LC Walker Arena by adding a new convention center nearby.
Officials Monday announced details regarding the $17 million convention center, made possible through a partnership between the county, city and Parkland Properties of Michigan.
The venue will sit on 4th Street between Western Avenue and Shoreline Drive (Business US-31) and will connect to an existing hotel as well as the updated LC Walker Arena. It will also have entrances at Shoreline Drive, Western Avenue and 3rd Street.
The convention center will overlook Muskegon Lake. Developers say the design will pay homage to Muskegon’s industrial past and expansive waterfront.
Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson says the 45,000-square foot convention center will give the city more opportunities to host larger events, breathing new life into the arena area. Altogether, the convention center and hotel will feature more than 10,000 square feet of conference rooms and banquet facilities.
The hotel, which is currently the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor, will get a $6 million facelift, becoming a Delta by Marriott.
Crews just finished a $1.7 million renovation to modernize the LC Walker Arena. The 1960s-era facility will also eventually get roofing and heating/air conditioning improvements, at a price tag of approximately $1.5 million.
A new restaurant has also opened in the arena, and officials say a second one is planned.
Community leaders have been considering creating a convention center in Muskegon since the late 1980s, according to Bob Lukens, director of Visit Muskegon. Officials studied feasibility in 2002 and again in 2014. In the later study, they determined the city was losing out on a lot of business because of “space limitations.”
Community members are invited to preview the convention center plans Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the LC Walker Arena. The event is free. For more information, contact the city of Muskegon online or at 231.724.6705.