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Meeting center adds Vernal to stable
by TOM BUSSELBERG
Mar 07, 2014 | 1476 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print

LAYTON – Davis Conference Center’s success has led a new meetings facility to choose the same management team. 

A new Vernal conference center, with construction start anticipated next month and completion about a year later, has selected Western States Lodging to manage its facility. 

Western States has managed the Davis Conference Center since its inception a decade ago. 

“We started on this about a year ago,” said Dave Hilliard, assistant director of the Conference Center and adjacent Hilton Garden Inn.

That’s when Uintah County Commissioners visited the Davis center, studied the management/operations model, “and saw what a success the Davis Conference Center has had,” Hilliard said.

Western States Lodging won the management contract and will set up a Vernal-specific team to manage operations there, he said. 

“We thought it’s far enough away it wouldn’t compete with us” for conventions, Hilliard said. 

Davis Conference Center General Manager Scott Lunt, Hilliard, and others are consulting on the design and build of the new center. 

It will include 67,000 square feet, with about 40,000 square feet of that in meeting space.

By comparison, the Davis Conference Center has about 70,000 square feet of meeting space, Hilliard said.

“The addition of another conference center in this region can only enhance, bring new business to Utah,” he said. “We actually hope there may be new business that will rotate up north, as well. This could be a benefit to the whole state.”

Uintah County has what Hilliard called “a very successful venue for meetings,” but it’s more like Davis County’s Legacy Event Center, suited mostly to rodeos and some outdoor and indoor events.

“We owe so much gratitude to Davis County for the reputation of the conference center, and the businesses that support it,” he said.  

Speaking of convention business locally, Hilliard said “it’s nice to see bookings increase. We’ve had some good success.”

 
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