Consultant discusses feasibility of proposed downtown Billings convention center

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 19:47:34-04

BILLINGS-  A few hundred people showed up this morning at the Pub Station in Billings to hear a consultant for HVS Convention discuss a proposed downtown convention center, a key component of One Big Sky Development.

"There are a lot of people who are excited about what this could do for Billings. I picked that up from the audience, and their questions and seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm about the project" said Thomas Hazinski, HVS managing director, at a Billings Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

The feasibility study is for a convention center to act as a catalytic project for a mix-use development and re-development to downtown Billings.

This is to be included in the early stages of the proposed One Big Sky Development, a series of projects aimed at reinvigorating downtown Billings.

Hazinski, who is based in Chicago, said to "think of the convention center as a living room of the community. It’s important for the community and as a place to gather and a place to invite guests. It would encourage we think up to over 30,000 annual overnight visitations to Billings. It would make an important impact in terms of Billings being the premiere convention destination in Montana, and an important regional destination."

HVS recommends building a: 

  • A 40,000-square-foot multipurpose ballroom,  for banquets, light exhibition and large assembly meeting space.
  • 10,000-square-foot “junior ballroom,” 
  • 16,000-square-foot meeting room block with a variety of large and small meeting spaces.

Proposed places for the convention center location: