Jekyll Island convention center exceeds hopes

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JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. - Officials say the new beachfront meeting space hosted 35 events in its first 73 days since opening in May. Considering many of those events stretched across multiple days, officials say, the convention center had some type of event happening for 59 of those days.

Allyson Jackson, the convention center's general manager, says she was "completely floored" by how much business the center attracted in its first 2 1/2 months.

Georgia taxpayers paid $50 million for the 128,000-square-foot convention center, the centerpiece of a revitalization effort to turn around state-owned Jekyll Island's slumping tourism and convention business.

Officials say the island's meeting spaces and hotels had become outdated, prompting travelers to look for other destinations.

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