PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - CLARIFICATION: The initial report below references the "convention center and the city's visitor's bureau". To clarify, AEG is expected to soon take over management of the Palm Springs Convention Center and the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.
Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem Geoff Kors talked about the anticipated vote, which could come as early as Wednesday night, for the city council to agree to a contract with global entertainment giant AEG, to take over management of the convention center and the city's visitor's bureau.
"We felt AEG came in with very strong points and strong history, and plans to utilize the convention center more," said Kors.
AEG, the parent company of Golden Voice, which puts on "Coachella", is currently in the process of merging with SMG, the company which has managed the Palm Springs Convention Center and Visitor's Bureau for the past several years.
Kors says by entering a relationship with AEG now, it will allow the city to more quickly leverage AEG's resources and connections in bringing music acts, and other new events to the convention center.
"Council felt we should go with the company that is going to be the lead now, versus waiting until the merger is in place, because then, one hundred plus convention centers will be merging and we want to be ahead of that," said Kors.
The mayor pro tem says the convention center is significant economic driver, with events at the facility generating roughly 95,000 room nights each year for area hotels.
Kors also says the proximity of AEG's headquarters in Los Angeles will also allow the company to more effectively book the convention center.
The city is in the final stages of working out contract agreement with AEG, and Kors and Aftab Dada, the Vice President and Managing Director of the Palm Springs Hilton are confident the deal will get done.
"A change will be good for our city, our convention center," said Dada.
Both Dada and Kors confirmed that current Convention Center Director James Canfield has accepted a new position in Birmingham, Alabama.
But, they expect the rest of the roughly 60 staff members at the CVB to largely remain in place once AEG takes over.
A representative for AEG would not comment on the status of the pending merger with SMG, but Aftab Dada says he expects the deal will get final approval from regulators.
Mayor Pro Tem Kors says AEG could be running the convention center and visitor's bureau as soon as September.
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