Puerto Rico Convention Center Earns Prime Site Award for 10th Time
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Convention Center (PRCC) has been selected to receive the prestigious Prime Site Award from “Facilities & Destinations,” a leading publication for meeting and event planners, booking agents and promoters throughout North America. The awards will be announced formally in the June issue of the magazine.
The publication has polled its readers to identify the U.S.’s top venues since 1994. The scores are based on marketability, accessibility, quality and customer service. The San Juan venue has earned the honor every year since 2006.
The award comes within days of the SMG managed Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot’s recognition as the 15th most successful arena in the world in a similar publication, “Pollstar.”
SMG also announced the appointment of Thom Connors as regional vice president overseeing SMG operations of the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
“This award further confirms Puerto Rico’s Top Place among the nation’s facilities for meetings and conventions,” Connors said in a statement Monday. “We are thankful to our clients and industry partners for selecting us to win this award yet again, and we are very proud of our track record in the industry.”
Connors has been engaged with the Convention Center long before its opening, and serves on the board of Meet Puerto Rico, the destination marketing organization that works with SMG to help promote the PRCC and the region for meetings and conventions.
Before being appointed as regional vice president of SMG Puerto Rico, Connors was regional VP of SMG Michigan, in charge of the company’s contract at the Cobo Center in Detroit, after serving as general manager until February.
Before Detroit, he coordinated the start up of the Irving Convention Center that opened in January 2011. Previously based in San Juan, he established SMG’s Latin American office here as senior regional VP and oversaw operation of the Coliseo de Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Convention Center, while directing SMG’s business development activity in the region. From 1996-2006 he served on the corporate staff as national director of SMG’s Convention Center Division.
Connors joined SMG in 1982 and has also been Southeast regional VP while serving as general manager of the Miami Beach Convention Center and the Jackie Gleason Theater. He was director of development for SMG International in London from 1986-1991. He began his career in public assembly facilities management with the City or Orlando, where he was appointed manager of the Centroplex in 1978.
“Like our hospitality industry partners, and stemming from our Hyatt Hotel roots, SMG is the only firm to manage its convention centers in the same manner as any five-star hotel,” said Michael Godoy, vice president of operations for SMG. “Meeting planners and attendees have set a high standard, seeking a seamless experience between their hotels and our convention center here in San Juan. This award is an indication of the hard work by our staff in Puerto Rico and the corporate support provided on behalf of the community we serve.”
The Puerto Rico Convention Center is one of 33 SMG-managed facilities to earn the award this year–a new record for SMG–and more than all other convention center management companies combined.
The Puerto Rico Convention Center is owned by the Convention Center District Authority, a public corporation part of the Puerto Rico Economic Development Department.