City events could move to Gwinnett
Center could provide relief for storm-damaged venues

DULUTH - Gwinnett's convention center may host some of the events scheduled for the Georgia World Congress Center, which sustained heavy damages in a tornado Friday.

Cheryl Ann Gee, sales and marketing director for the Gwinnett Center, said the county is in talks with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and others in the hospitality industry about accommodating conventions planned at the Atlanta venue.

Events could be moved as early as this weekend, she said, although none had been confirmed by Monday evening.

"It was an awful disaster. The hospitality community is pulling together to make sure these events have a good experience with the city," Gee said. "It also gives us the opportunity to showcase our venue, although it's not necessarily the way we want to do that."

As event coordinators and metro area venues toiled to make accommodations for competitions and conventions booked at the World Congress Center through April, Gee said it is unknown if the arrangements will mean Gwinnett hotels will also receive last-minute guests. Groups could decide to keep their plans at Atlanta hotels, which would require transportation to the suburban convention center, she said.

"Everybody is scrambling to see what we can do," Gee said, adding that several venues could work together to host an upcoming volleyball event. "It's a great effort from all the hospitality community."