The 21-acre St. Charles Convention Center complex is set to debut in April featuring a multi-use, 154,000 sq. ft. meeting, trade show and entertainment facility. The Paric Corp.'s $49 million development features 59,000 sq. ft. of meeting space on two levels with an additional 25,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space.

Complementing the facility will be a $40 million, 286-room Embassy Suites hotel, linked to the convention center by a skylight-topped walkway developed by John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts.

Highlighting the complex's technology backbone is a facility-wide fiber optic network complete with advanced audio-video capabilities and a wireless networking system. Additionally, the convention center will be equipped with a $1 million kitchen facility and a cyber café. Boosting business and retail sales in the area, the complex will also employ roughly 1,000 people.

Funding for the convention center will be derived from a countywide hotel-motel tax, a $4 million grant from the state of Missouri, $29.7 million in St. Charles city-issued debt, and taxes levied from convention revenues.