A look inside the Barbara and George H.W. Bush Convention Center

ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) The Barbara and H.W. Bush Convention Center is opening its doors, and will be officially unveiled Thursday afternoon in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The executive vice president of tourism and facilities for the Midland Chamber of Commerce, Brad Barnett, said the new convention center is two and a half times larger than the previous center.

“We closed the old Midland center in December of 2015,” he said.

In September of 2019, three and a half years later, the newly constructed building is ready to welcome visitors.

“We’re just excited to be opening back up, like I said, over 160 events in the exhibit hall are already in the books,” he said.

The center features large windows and decorations in earthen tones. The center offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space for events like trade shows, conferences, meetings and more.

According to the center’s website, exhibit hall room prices range from $255, to several thousand dollars, depending on the day and type of desired rental space. The entire convention center can also be rented, as well as the 6,000 square foot ballroom.

The convention center cost $43 million to build. Barnett said one of the highlights of the facility, is that it’s being paid for using hotel/motel tax revenue.

“Our operation’s budget’s fully funded by visitors to Midland. When people stay in hotels, they pay a 14 percent hotel tax, we get a small portion of that. So this is a great facility paid for by outsiders,” he said.

Centennial Park is across the street from the center. The park is currently under construction, and has an estimated completion date of summer 2020.