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Mar 19, 2018

Civic Center has new team of managers

Finally, the Belize City Civic Center is ready for sporting and other activities such as conventions, concerts and expos. Earlier today, a contract was signed with a U.S.-based company to assume management of the thirty-three million-dollar state-of-the-art facility. Apex Events Services Limited, through its local subsidiary, was selected over other bidders for a two-year contract in the first instance. Apex will have to utilize the facility on a daily basis to generate enough income for the running of the civic center. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was present at today’s signing and files the following report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Civic Center, built at a staggering cost of almost thirty-three million dollars, is finally set to open its doors to the public at the end of April.  The official launch will succeed a forty-five day period during which its new managers will be outfitting the sporting and conventional facility to their specifications.  The three-year contract which was signed this morning is a joint agreement between the Government of Belize and Apex Events Services Ltd.

 

Christy Mastry

Christy Mastry, General Manager, BIL

“Apex Events Service is an LLC company established in 2008 in the state of Florida and the sole proprietor is Mr. Chad Eckert, here with us today.  He established his team with different levels of qualifications to bid for the management of the project and has now formally established Apex Events Services Belize Ltd. with all the legal company requirements and obligations to the country of Belize.  That includes all of his tax, legal and other rules of arbitration to the country of Belize.  So that was mandatory for any company who was bidding, even if they were international because they did bring with them high level of qualifications but they had to be established as a company operating in Belize.”

 

The idea, says Chad Eckert, is that the locally managed company will be able to capitalize on the use of the available floor space both in and out of the building.

 

Chad Eckert

Chad Eckert, Proprietor, Apex Events Services Ltd.

“We can have large conventions, small conventions, you could have business meetings, you could have trainings.  It’s basically unlimited for whatever ideas you have here.  We’re gonna be creating multiple rental venue spots in the building alone, I think we’ve come up with about seven different areas in the building that can be rented individually or even simultaneously.  You could also have, one of our ideas is where you can rent the inside, as well as the outside.  You could have like a large expo or something where you can have vendors on the inside and you can have, you can have them wrap around the court inside here, around the upstairs.  You can have them all out in the parking lot as well.”

 

What has been of concern to residents of Belize City is the availability of the multipurpose complex for public use.  Government has gone to the pains of stipulating in the agreement that a thousand hours must be set aside for community use.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Sports

“In the contract that we just signed, in fact we have taken very, very good measures in order to make sure that while we want to protect and preserve this facility, it will be very much available for the wider Belizean population to use.  There are negotiated in the contract, one thousand community hours for this facility per year and that is a lot of hours and we will be engaging the two major associations, or federations, that are associated with the Civic, that is the basketball association and the volleyball association.  These hours will be determined by them and the wider community.  There are some events, of course, that the government, the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Culture and other government entities will need to utilize the center for.  One that immediately comes to mind is that we want to have a grand affair, since this year we will celebrate Teachers Day nationally in the month of May.  So we can talk about that right away.  We have about six thousand teachers and they can now be accommodated in one place.  That has never been done before in Belize’s history.”

 

In order to meet its operational expenses and turn a profit, Apex will have to create a schedule of activities that will see the Civic Center in use virtually all year round.

 

Reynaldo Malic

Reynaldo Malic, General Manager, Apex Events Services Ltd.

“There are three hundred and sixty-five days to the year.  The secret to generating the revenue, not just to cover the expenses of the Civic, but also to generate revenue back to the government and to make it a profitable venture for Apex, is going to be in our ability to utilize all three hundred and sixty-five days of the year.  That’s in essence the sort of secret sauce when it comes to venue management.  Not only are there three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, but there’s also twenty-four hours in a day which means that we can have multiple events on any single day.  That’s up to us to come up with a good conversion team that can convert, for instance, from a convention in the day to a basketball game in the night and then back to something else the following morning.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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