Expo Expansion to Bring Bigger Events to Essex Jct.

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Expo Expansion to Bring Bigger Events to Essex Jct.

Thu, 11/11/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

CVE, Nordic Spirit Soccer Club Partner Again to Expand Indoor Facilities
ESSEX JUNCTION A new 45,000 square-foot facility for special events, trade shows, conventions and indoor soccer should be completed in January 2005 at the Champlain Valley Exposition (CVE).
The $2.5 million building will be similar and adjacent to the Robert E. Miller Expo Centre built in 1999. As was the case in six years ago, a long-term lease commitment by the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club is the impetus for this expansion, explained David Grimm, CVEs general manager.
The new construction, which began in mid-September, includes a 26,000-square foot, clear-span building for special events and soccer. A 14,000-square foot connector to the Miller Expo Centre will include 12,000 square feet for offices, conference space, concessions, a prep kitchen and additional dressing and rest rooms. Another 7,000 square feet will be used for storage. The project is being built by REM Development Company, Williston, Robert E. Miller, president.

Both the Exposition and the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club are 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations. Exposition officials have indicated they are looking for a sponsor to dedicate the new building to help underwrite some of the expenses.

A commitment by the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club in 1999 was the springboard that allowed us to expand our facilities and capabilities, and strengthen our economic base for the long-term viability of the Exposition, said Jane Clifford, president of the Expositions Board of Directors.

For the Exposition, the new facilities will create new opportunities to attract bigger events and conventions and provide additional show space to the Champlain Valley Fair.

The 130-acre Exposition provides facilities that are unique to Vermont and the Northeast region, bringing such one-of-a-kind events as the Vermont Balloon and Music Festival, Four-Wheel Drive Jamboree, Everything Equine and Horse 2005, Sportsman Show, Arts and Crafts shows, Recreational Vehicle Jamborees, The Champlain Valley Antiques Festival and home and dog shows to name a few.

Additional regional economic impact is derived from national shows that come to Vermont for two reasons the attractions of Vermont and the CVE facilities able to accommodate their memberships needs. The economic impact is widely felt by restaurants, retail shops, gas stations, hotels and tourist attractions when a major national convention comes to Essex Junction and Chittenden County, Grimm said.

The National Street Rod Associations annual fall rally which marked its 11th year at CVE in 2004 along with recreational vehicle rallies like the Family Motor Coach Association and other events bring significant tourism and tax dollars to the Vermont economy on a regular, annual basis.

As an example, the 2003 Wally Byam Caravan Club Airstream convention, the largest ever for Vermont, would not have happened without the availability of the Robert E. Miller Expo Centre, said Tom Oddy, CVEs director of special events. Equally important is that current user groups such as the Yankee Sportsmens Classic, Vermont Craft Workers and the Boat and RV shows have all expressed a desire to grow their events and are committed to using the new exhibit space, Oddy added.

The Expos Champlain Valley Fair remains the largest single annual event in Vermont, drawing 299,168 people during the 10-day event. Add in an additional 100-plus events held at the Expo (trade shows, conferences, music festivals and other specialty events) and the regional economic activity that CVE encourages is substantial approximately $75 million per year!
Roger Prescott, president of the Nordic Spirit Soccer Club, said marketplace demands provided the momentum to go to the next level. There exists a great need to have more opportunities for training, practice and greater flexibility in scheduling. This project will double existing capacity in addition to creating winter training opportunities for outdoor spring sports such as lacrosse, rugby and field hockey.
The Nordic Spirit Soccer Club currently serves 2,000-3,000 people per week during its winter season. The growth each organization has shared is something of which we can all be proud, Prescott added. Like sports, teamwork can make good things happen.
For information about leasing any of the Expositions facilities, contact Tom Oddy, director of special events, at (802) 878-5545 or toddy@cvfair.com. A calendar of events at the Exposition is available at www.cvfair.com.