MMPI, the developer bringing us the $465 million Med Mart, is looking for someone to beef up convention center bookings. That, in itself, is not odd.
The idea of the taxpayer-funded project is for the Med Mart part to cause medical conventions and trade shows to pour into town and they, in turn, will render pricey (so far that reads: free) Med Mart show room space irresistible to big name companies selling high end medical equipment.
What's odd is that MMPI's new convention sales manager will be responsible for wooing non-medical conventions and meetings to the city.
That has traditionally been Positively Cleveland's job, and the job posting states that the new convention sales manager will work closely with the city's hotel-bed tax funded promotional organization. The medical conventions and shows were always intended to be MMPIs main responsibility.
But Positively Cleveland says it welcomes the help. “Quite frankly, no matter how well we do the medical, non-medical is always going to be the largest part of the convention center business,” says president David Gilbert. “The more feet we have on the ground, the better.”
MMPI did not return calls requesting comment on the newly created job. But one possible motivation for the developer to join in bringing non-medical show business in is that MMPI gets all the profit from any convention center booking, no matter who books it. Positively Cleveland also books shows for the I-X center and hotel meeting space, both venues that would yield MMPI no dough.