Newly renovated and rebranded, it’s hoped the Downtown Fort Myers convention center will be a big win for the city in the future. Officially known as the Caloosa Sound Convention Center and Amphitheater, the building was recently updated inside and out.
The convention center has new exterior walls, a new roof and new windows. Crews have also recently made improvements to the building’s interior design.
Formerly called the Harborside Event Center, the original building opened in the early 1990s. As Harborside, the building hosted countless local events, but it was rarely used for big conventions.
As part of its rebranding, an events team is now taking over sales and bookings. Previously that was done by the city. In past years, the property sometimes struggled to make a profit.
The addition of the hotel is expected to make an impact when it comes to bringing in new conventions to the city. Developers are also working on bringing several more hotels to the River District, which could help spur even larger conventions in the future, as well.
While the ongoing pandemic has definitely hurt the convention business, proponents expect Caloosa Sound to do quite well in the future. Until then, the convention center is being used to host smaller events.
The 40,000 square foot event venue features a huge ballroom as well as a large park and amphitheater right alongside the Caloosahatchee River. The newly updated convention center offers the bonus of views overlooking the water from a riverfront terrace.
Some of the hotel guest rooms and suites also overlook the river. It’s hoped the building’s location, amenities and updates will all help lure in crowds in the future.