Hotels warn San Diego is falling behind in convention business

Hotel GM says larger conventions skip San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego-area hotels celebrated Comic-Con’s extension with the City of San Diego Friday.

“It’s really good for business for two or three days,” said Joe Eustice, the General Manager of the Wyndham San Diego Bayside.

However, Eustice warned San Diego needs to expand its convention center before the city falls too far behind other destination cities. He said Comic-Con is the biggest comic book convention but it’s not the biggest convention.

RELATED: San Diego mayor announces Comic-Con to stay in San Diego through 2021

“Many of these larger medical and pharmaceutical, theirs can take four and five days and they include a lot of pre- and post-set up,” he said. “Having larger conventions, biomedical conventions, pharmaceutical conventions, medical, investment conventions, those people, matching genes, those are the businesses of the future.”

The San Diego Convention Center has 615,000 square feet of space. Places like Las Vegas and Orlando have twice as much. Chicago’s convention center is almost four times larger with 2.6 million square feet.

“Because our convention center is small, we’re missing out and we know that we’re going to be outpaced by other developments currently taking place,” he warned.

Eustice said San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States but its convention center isn’t in the top 20 in size.

“It makes you feel like the future’s in doubt,” he said.

MORE: San Diego Comic-Con coverage

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