America’s Center Prepares Party for Five-Thousand VIPs

Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Kitty is throwing yet another party, but she says this one is big time.

Convention and Visitors Commission President Kitty Ratcliffe is hosting 5,000 delegates of a national convention planners group — people with the power to book future conventions here if they like what they see.  

“It’s probably the most critical convention we’ve hosted in St. Louis in at least a dozen years,” Ratcliffe said. 

The CVC estimates the members of the American Society of Association Executives could spend $5.7 million here in the days ahead, and potentially book future conventions worth $187 million.

Going on a charm offensive, Ratcliffe plans to dazzle them with City Garden, Lumiere Place Casino ,  the Washington Avenue Loft District and technological upgrades to the America’s Center itself.

“When they see all the changes, I think they’ll be blown away,” she said.

But what about the broiling St. Louis heat and the throat-catching humidity?

“Well, I certainly wish it wasn’t going to be 95 degrees on Saturday,” she said, “but it’s hot everywhere, so I’m not going to worry about it.”

The big convention runs Saturday through Tuesday at the America’s Center downtown.

Copyright KMOX


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