CHARLESTON, W.Va. — This may take some getting used to, the Charleston Civic Center, after a $97.6 million renovation has also received a fresh name. It’s now called the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.
General Manager John Robertson said the name “civic center” is a tired term in the industry and the aim is to attract convention business to Charleston with the newly renovated facility.
“It’s a little passe in our industry now,” he said. “Meeting planners expect to go to ‘convention centers’ and touring concerns expect to go to a ‘coliseum’ or ‘arena.’ I think the titles are more indicative of what we really are,” Robertson said.
Robertson said using those terms to describe what Charleston has to offer will be more attractive to both concert or convention promoters nationally. He admitted however, it will be a difficult change for many, since the name has been Civic Center since 1958 when the first building was put into place.
The new named is aimed at those who are not familiar.
“A lot of the things we’re trying to attract are not familiar with Charleston, West Virginia,” he explained. “The immediate perception when you say ‘civic center’ is that’s a community building. We want them to know from the get-go it is a convention center.”
The new name is already in place being used on the facility’s website and when answering the phones. The decision to make the change came a couple of months ago but has been gradually rolled in and will lead up to the grand opening planned for next month. The renovation is almost done and Robertson is looked forward to unveiling the entire project to the public.
“I think folks are really going to have their socks knocked off when they come in here,” he said. “It’s just a spectacular and magnificent facility.”