Plaza Convention Center’s future uncertain

LONGMONT — The future of the Plaza Convention Center in Longmont is up in the air.

Seth Chernoff, chief executive of Chernoff Boulder Properties LLC, which owns the building the convention center occupies, said on Thursday that his company plans to renovate the building, but he is uncertain if it will remain a convention center or be put to some other use.

Chernoff Boulder Properties bought the convention center building in 2016 from Pratt Management Co., which at the time signed a lease to continue managing the convention center. The 37,000-square-foot building has more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space that includes a 6,000-square-foot ballroom, 200-seat amphitheater and smaller meeting rooms. It’s among the largest privately owned convention spaces in Boulder County.

Pratt Management sold the nearby Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel in February to Virginia-based Shamin Hotels, which took over the management of the convention center.

Chernoff said Shamin Hotels has exercised a clause in its contract to stop managing the convention center. Staff at the convention center have stopped booking events past September of this year.

Chernoff told BizWest that he thinks having a convention center this size is important to the community and surrounding area.

“We’re talking with members of the city to see if there is a way to save the convention center, and at the same time we are considering new types of use. It’s all uncertain right now,” he said.

Nancy Rezac, executive director of Visit Longmont, said a convention center this size is “crucial” for the community.

“Look at the 500-seat dinner events that are held there. Nowhere else in Longmont can that be done,” Rezac said.

Rezac said there is about 28,000 square feet of meeting space in Longmont. “The convention center is a big chunk of that.”

Chad Hansen, general manager of the Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel, could not be reached for comment.