BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Natural Products Expo is Baltimore’s biggest annual convention, and their reason for leaving is there’s just not enough space.
In recent years, several large groups have decided to move to different facilities with more space.
“So we’re a little outdated, we do a good job in that footprint, but there’s no question from a competitive standpoint we are losing our pace,” said Al Hutchinson, Visit Baltimore President, said.
The convention center has not been updated in nearly two decades. The latest announcement of Natural Products Expo relocating to Philadelphia can impact the entire community.
“So when you lose a group of that significance, that’s a huge gap that’s left in your convention center but also a gap that’s left here in Baltimore City so we’re losing economic impact, and tax revenue,” Hutchinson said.
A loss that is concerning to local officials as well.
“Baltimore is experiencing the loss of two large conventions, because we need to grow our convention center, we need to expand it, so we have plans to move forward to expand the convention center,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
If the convention center updates its facilities and expands, it could attract new business, and bring back those that left.
“We do know that if that’s done there are going to be new dollars that are generated for this community, not just for the convention center but for our restaurants and attractions community,” Hutchinson said.