WEST MONROE, LA (8/20/19) One of West Monroe’s most iconic event centers is about to be bigger and better than ever before.
The Ike Hamilton Expo Center has hosted many events in its past, and now will be able to hold even more thanks to nearly a half million in matched grant dollars, courtesy of the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of West Monroe.
Leaders at the Ike say the grant money will go towards many improvements. “Electrical upgrades, a lot of that will take place in the outdoor arena. We’re going to get two hundred temporary stalls. The piece of equipment that we’re going to use is actually the piece of equipment that’s on the back of a tractor that allows us to rake the dirt and either make it fluffy” says Robin Hatten, Director of the Ike Hamilton Center.
It also includes renovations to the spaces in the back designed for longer term RV and trailer parking. These grants are some of the largest grants that the Ike Hamliton Center has received in its nearly two decade life.
While the grants are geared mainly towards upgrades of the center, they’re also keeping West Monroe’s expansion in mind.
“We didn’t have all of the ties and the power to be able to do everybody, so we want to make sure that we got those numbers, capability to do larger number shows which gives us the capability to do more of them, and more people in town means more money to the community ” says Alana Cooper, President & CEO of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
That means potential for expansion not limited to the center itself. “The more people and there more activity that can happen out in that area, the more attractive it makes the property out in front of the IKE, for a potential business.” says Staci Mitchell, Mayor of West Monroe.
Once the work begins patrons can expect it to last for nearly six months, but the impact should be minimal. Mayor Mitchell wants to also personally thank the convention and visitors bureau for the grant.