The doors to Oswego’s Lake Ontario Conference Center are open.
The doors to the main entrance of the new facility were added during the last week of June, and progress of the construction is right on schedule.
George Broadwell Jr., son of owner George “Buddy” Broadwell, said every time he tours the facility he is amazed at the progress.
The entire facility is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The conference center itself will be completed by mid-July, according to Broadwell.
“Our first conference is going to be Sept. 30–Oct. 2 for the New York State Canal Society. They booked their conference room when we only had steel up. That’s a great leap of faith. I’ve been taking people on tours and the response is extremely positive,” Broadwell said.
Broadwell said he is in discussions with numerous organizations about booking conferences for the end of this year and early 2013. He had a wedding on the books to be held in the conference center in late July, he said.
“I can’t say enough about how many times I’ve talked to these different organizations and they say right off the bat, ‘We’ve always wanted to come to Oswego,’ which is great. If I could say just one thing it would be that I didn’t realize how much this would mean for Oswego. You can’t book these events if you don’t have the facility,” said Broadwell.
Multi-million project — The project is a $6 million investment, Broadwell said, and is a more than 17,000-square-foot expansion to the existing Best Western Captain’s Quarters on East First Street.
“[The investment] has encompassed the 18 additional hotel rooms. That will also encompass the actual conference center itself and kitchen facilities on the second floor, which is about 10,000 square feet. It will also include the restaurant on the first floor, with some additional meeting rooms. The parking and landscaping will also be within that budget,” said Broadwell.
He noted the majority of those utilizing the facility will be people from outside of Oswego County. He plans to use the space mainly for conferences and weddings, which will also require lodging, so other hotels in Oswego will benefit as well, he said. Other businesses will also benefit from the facility bringing in tourists and business people, who will need to eat and be entertained.
“When you attend a conference, you’re going there for a purpose of learning something, but also I think they realize there will be some fun things to do while they’re here. Maybe it’s in the evening, or maybe people will come in before or stay later, or even bring their families if there are fun things to do. I think this project will bring new people into Oswego and increase the business in this area,” Broadwell said.
Broadwell also hopes to partner with existing Oswego businesses to offer package deals to tourists looking to visit Oswego, he said. The lodging, restaurant and conference room coupled with Oswego’s history and culture will be something for tourists to delight in, according to Broadwell.