PHOENIX — Dozens of conventions are still scheduled to go on in the Valley despite the spread of COVID-19.
Leaders at the Phoenix Convention Center said there are 66 conventions scheduled for 2022, and none of them have been canceled so far. Those events are estimated to bring 250,000 people to the Valley.
Jerry Harper, deputy director of the convention center, said they've updated to a state-of-the-art ventilation system.
"We talked about the filtration system, we talked about the cleanliness of the space, but then also having enough space to allow for physical distancing," he said.
He said the visitors expected next year could contribute more than $400 million to the local economy.
"It’s putting people in the hotels —we call it heads in beds, it’s putting people in the restaurant bars, and also it’s exposing people what is this destination has to offer," said Harper.
Scottsdale is another hot destination. According to Experience Scottsdale, conferences and meetings usually make up about half of the revenue for upscale resorts and hotels.
"Enthusiasm is still high about the destination, I think that’s one of the things that’s key," said Harper.
The Arizona Bowl in Tucson was canceled after a team pulled out due to COVID issues. Two other bowl games are still set to go on: The Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Tuesday night in Phoenix, and the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day in Glendale.
Bowl organizers said they've been working with the teams and stadiums to make sure they can have these games safely.