SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Downtown Sacramento is very quiet these days as many businesses have been shut down during the stay-at-home order. But one project not experiencing a sudden stop is the Sacramento Convention Center.  

The project is still on track to be completed by the end of this year. But with the local economy reliant on the Convention Center, we wanted to know how they plan on attracting people in this new normal.

Mike Testa with Visit Sacramento says the city has an upper hand when you compare it to others.

“For a city like Sacramento, we are a drive-in market. We will do better than a lot of the fly-in markets like San Francisco because of that,” he explained.

But, because there isn’t a timeline for recovery, Testa says they are using history as a tool for planning.

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“We look at the great recession and how people travel as soon as that passed,” he said.

Even when that time comes, there are still a lot of questions, like if there will be enough hotel room space. It’s been a topic of conversation even before the pandemic hit.

“We’re talking about it internally and with the hotels and with the city, who owns and runs the convention center,” Testa said.

With 52 events booked for next year, now it’s a matter of making adjustments to their game plan to be ready.

“Does that mean social distancing? Does that mean utilizing multiple venues? More video streaming? The reality is nobody knows. Nobody knows what this is going to look like in 2021,” he explained.


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