Bridgeport Conference Center Sees Full Books Despite Economy

Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009
WBOY, Channel 12 News

BRIDGEPORT--Judges from across the state are in Harrison County this week for the West Virginia Judicial Association Spring Conference.

Harrison County Bar Association President James Varner welcomed the conference this evening at a reception at the Bridgeport Conference Center.

He calls it a great opportunity for continuing education.

"The judges have been learning everything from updates on the law to better ways to manage your caseload, and many of them are undergoing some advanced computer training, which, generally they're the ones who come out frowning; I understand it's pretty tough," said Varner. "But they've been working hard all day and they'll be here the rest of the week."

Many conference centers are reporting a decline in meetings and receptions like this because of the economy - but not the Bridgeport Conference Center.

Receptions for business conferences like this one can cost a lot of money.

In these harrowing economic times, many companies can't afford to send their employees to week long conferences at fine hotels, but the Bridgeport Conference Center is still reaping the benefits of good business despite the economy.

Other events are happening at the Bridgeport Conference Center this week.

In fact - May is booked full every day.

"Business is picking up this year," said Scott Duarte, General Manager and Director of Hospitality for the Bridgeport Conference Center at Charles Pointe. "We're in a growing development and we're growing our business aggressively. So we've seen an increase from last year."

Officials here at the Bridgeport Conference Center say they have between 400 and 500 conferences and meetings each year. They attribute those numbers to flexibility.

"While they're in economic times that need some tightening occasionally, we work with them on food, room rental, things like that and try to make it work for a successful meeting," explained Duarte. "I think when you do, you end up with some growth in your business, hopefully."

"The economy's bad all around; there's not getting around it," agreed Varner. "But we've got a wonderful turn out here. But I think even though everyone's tightening their belt a little, things seem to be working out fine, at least here in Bridgeport."

Also at this evening's reception - 2008's Judicial Association president David Romano was honored for his work for the state in the past year.