AUSTIN - As the Dell EMC convention kicked off in Austin, potentially sad news came from the company.
The convention will not be returning to Austin next year. Instead, it will be heading to Las Vegas.
According to Shilpa Bakre with the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, the change came about due to a lack of sufficient space for the growing convention.
"Dell has obviously been a homegrown giant and a partner for many many years," she said. "That growing into a giant has also resulted in them slightly now outgrowing us at least for this current convention in our current state."
Bakre said Austin's convention center is the smallest of the 20 closest peer cities for tourism and growth, but said that's the only area we aren't keeping up.
"In 2014 we had 22.6 million visitors. 2015 we had 24.1 million visitors. Our job creation in terms of the hospitality industry is 60,000 jobs - that's growing. So I think in many ways we're already doing a lot of work to support a growing, burgeoning tourism destination coming in," she said. "The next big step for us is to look at 'OK when we do bring the meetings and convention side in, where are we going to have them host their meetings?' and that's why this convention space is so important to us."
Tom Noonan, president and CEO of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated the city would lose $8.2 million per year in direct economic impact over the next three years, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Bakre said that while Dell moving locations may not be ideal for Austin, it won't likely hurt the city.
"I can say that we're an incredibly healthy destination and one that is in very, very high demand right now," she sad.
Dell Technologies is planning to host an executive summit in Austin in 2017. The 2017 Dell EMC World will be held at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, the Statesman reported. The event started as Dell World in 2011. The city’s website states the Austin Convention Center has 246,000 square feet of space
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