Chesapeake, Virginia Hires VenuWorks to Manage Conference Center, Thorn Named Executive Director

(Chesapeake, VA) In a unanimous 8-0 decision, the Chesapeake City Council voted on Tuesday, February 11, to enter into a multi-year contract with VenuWorks for the management and operation of the Chesapeake Conference Center. VenuWorks, located in Ames, IA, manages fifty convention and conference centers, special event halls and arenas throughout the United States.

“We are thrilled to be in Chesapeake and we are looking forward to working with the City and the venue staff to increase customers, enhance service and reduce the operational deficit,” said Steve Peters, President of VenuWorks.

The Chesapeake Conference Center is a multi-purpose facility with more than 22,000 square feet of meeting space. Equipped with state of the art audio visual and lighting systems, the venue is conveniently located near hotel accommodations and only minutes away from the Norfolk International Airport. For more information visit www.chesapeakeconference.com.

City Manager James Baker previously told council members that while the facility has attracted business and provided a service to the community, it has not performed up to expectations. The City closely analyzed continuing self-operation but opted for outsourcing. “VenuWorks”, he said, “has substantial experience and expertise operating similar facilities around the country, and we cannot realistically duplicate that internally.”

Industry veteran Troy Thorn has been named Executive Director for the Chesapeake Conference Center. “I am really excited to be here. It’s a beautiful facility, and has so much to offer,” said Thorn.

VenuWorks assumed management of the venue on Wednesday, February 12 and commenced its transition plan which includes staff evaluation and reorganization, implementing new customer service systems and food and beverage controls, community outreach and collaborating with the City’s Convention and Tourism Bureau on new sales and marketing approaches.

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