An article authored by Kenneth R. Gosselin and published in the Hartford Courant on September 25, 2022, highlights challenges that COVID-19 pandemic concerns have triggered and uncertainties regarding the convention center’s complete recovery from the huge hit it took in the pandemic. According to the article, convention center experts report that, in terms of its duration, the depth of the fallout from the pandemic exceeds that of the 9/11 attacks.
COVID-19 triggered a dramatic shift in the workplace to either a hybrid or a completely remote work environment, but experts expect that the return to in-person networking, training, and shareholders’ meetings is on the horizon. However, the convention center’s fiscal problems are real. CRDA reports that in the convention center’s 2019 fiscal year there were 178 events. The 2020 fiscal year indicated a shortfall of 105 events due to a drop in bookings at the convention center during the last three months as the pandemic took hold. There were no events in fiscal 2021, except the COVID-19 testing sites.
The article continues that the City of Hartford is increasing its efforts to become an economic driver by attracting more business conventions to Hartford. The City will invest $1.3 million in federal pandemic relief funds to create a convention and visitors bureau that is solely aimed at Hartford. Further details are available at the Hartford Courant.