Ocean City Convention Center Work Continues

Ocean City Convention Center Work Continues
The main level of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center is pictured this week amid an ongoing improvement project. Photo by Bethany Hooper

OCEAN CITY – Officials say the first two phases of an improvement project at the convention center should conclude this week.

On Monday, Roland E. Powell Convention Center Executive Director Larry Noccolino presented members of the Ocean City Tourism Commission with an update on improvements being made to both levels of the convention center. He noted that crews would likely complete the first two phases, which focused on the main level of the convention center, by Friday.

“We’re really zeroing in on phase one and phase two of our refresh renovations,” he said. “We’ll be complete – fingers crossed – this Friday the 15th, in anticipation of phase three. When I say complete, I mean complete the carpet and paint.”

For months, crews have been working on a phased project to modernize the Ocean City convention center with new paint and carpet in a color scheme that matches the town’s new branding. Director of Sales Kim Mueller said new furniture and artwork would also be installed.

“We should see a turnaround in about eight to 10 weeks to start layering all the details in the lobby,” she said. “Wyatt Harrison [of Plak That] has started working on the piece for the visitor center. He’s going to come in and install one, feel it out and then continue through … I think we’ll really see it all start to come together by the end of November. It just takes time for those layers.”

Mueller added that kiosks would also be added to the visitor center and the main level of the convention center.

“There will be sponsorship opportunities,” she said. “So there will be ad sales to that.”

When asked about the second floor of the convention center, Mueller said those improvements would be included in phase three of the project. She said staff would be meeting with City Manager Terry McGean to discuss the budget.

“We hope to get the approval,” she said. “It’s all about budget. We’re going to start working on that budget, sit down with Terry and work through that when we can.”

For his part, McGean said he had planned on including the third phase into a bond for an HVAC project.

“We’re going to do a bond for all the HVAC, and we’re going to add phase three into that,” he said.

Officials also told the commission this week that business remains strong at the convention center. They said new business and rebooks have contributed $30 million in economic input for what has been brought in for 2023, 2024 and 2025.

“People are starting to book convention centers,” said Tourism and Business Development Director Tom Perlozzo. “It looks like it’s going to be hopping for this coming year. Again, we know what our goals are, we know weekday business, we know what groups we’re trying to do … We’re going to get the right groups in here to make things happen.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.