Fort Worth

Fort Worth Convention Center Prepares to Host First Event Since Reopening

NBCUniversal, Inc.

In just over two weeks, the Fort Worth Convention Center will be hosting their first event since reopening its doors to the public.

Kevin Kemp, assistant facilities and public events director for the city of Fort Worth, told NBC 5 the event is through Kenneth Copeland Ministries.

Set up begins on July 29, while the event itself is scheduled for August 3-8.

“They’ve had to adjust many aspects of their show. They’ve canceled parts of it. They’ve moved parts of it,” Kemp said. “They’re doing the same thing we’re doing. They’re trying to make a safe environment for their guests.”

The convention center has been reopened for about three weeks, Kemp said. However, they have not held any events so far. Kemp said sanitation efforts have “doubled or tripled” during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Kemp said this includes the frequency in which they clean the center, even though their next event is not until August.

“A lot of that is just for practice. As you can imagine, changing all of the chemicals and tools there’s a lot of training involved,” he said. “We’re taking advantage some of the downtime and training staff.”

The travel industry and travel have taken large hits during the pandemic, Visit Fort Worth CEO Bob Jameson told NBC 5. However, in Fort Worth, there are some signs of early recovery.

“What is reasonable to expect in terms of these early stages of recovery, we’re seeing that,” Jameson said. “We have already seen hotel occupancies start climbing. Our occupancy at its worst point as a city was about 23%, we’re now running about 46%.”

Hotel occupancy and stays are primarily from local, regional, and in-state travelers, Jameson added.

“We have personalized for Fort Worth a ‘reopen responsibly’ message that is very helpful for us to help build consumer confidence,” he said. “The opportunity to full recovery rests on having the support of the scientific with treatments, therapies, vaccines because it’s all about people’s comfort level.”

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations climbing statewide, Kemp said it is something they are closely monitoring while city leaders and health officials.

“It changes every day, the environment out there,” he told NBC 5. “What we focus on is what we can control here at the convention center and will rogers and that’s the health and safety of our guests and our potential guests.”

The event next month is expected to draw about 2,500 guests, according to Kemp. The convention center’s arena has nearly 10,500 permanent seats.

Under state guidelines, the center is currently operating at a maximum of 50% occupancy.

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