The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (BACVB) has embarked on a $48 million renovation and expansion project for the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Originally constructed in 1985, the convention center is currently undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment that includes the addition of a 14,000 sq. ft. ballroom with pre-function space.
This additional square footage is intended to attract corporate and association conventions from not only Florida but also the broader Southeast region. The expansion and renovation are scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2025.
Under the management of the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the convention center is strategically located near the Manatee River, providing easy access to downtown Bradenton and the picturesque white sand beaches of Anna Maria Island.
Efforts will be made by the County to keep the convention center’s main area accessible for public events during the construction period.
As the only full-service convention center of its size within a 150-mile radius, extending from St. Petersburg to Naples, the newly envisioned 14,000 sq. ft. ballroom will accommodate up to 900 conference attendees, with the flexibility to be divided into two equal sections using operable walls. Two additional outdoor event spaces will provide alternative event options, while the existing exhibit hall will undergo enhancements, including new paint and epoxy flooring. The interior design draws inspiration from the natural elements of Florida’s West Coast, incorporating textures and colors reminiscent of driftwood, turquoise waters, Gulf Coast beaches, and boating scenes commonly found in the Bradenton Area.
In addition to the convention center expansion, a new 252-room premium upscale Marriott hotel will be connected to it. A climate-controlled corridor will facilitate comfortable access for conference attendees between the new Marriott Palmetto Resort and Spa and their events in the convention center. The new hotel will offer high-end amenities such as a ground-floor restaurant and lounge, a VIP rooftop bar and lounge, an outdoor resort-style pool, outdoor event spaces, concierge services, and a beach club off Haben Boulevard. The hotel will also feature over 10,000 square feet of meeting space, complementing the offerings of the convention center.
Anticipated for a spring 2024 opening, the Marriott Palmetto Resort & Spa is set to welcome guests.