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Steel beams indicate an ambitious Siglo XXI expansion

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The Siglo XXI convention center’s expansion is on track. Photo: Courtesy

Merida, Yucatan — The city’s future as a convention and trade show magnet is coming into focus as the Siglo XXI center’s expansion progresses.

The Siglo XXI was overshadowed by a new, high-tech International Convention Center in 2018. Now, it’s time for the older exhibit hall to catch up, in both capacity and style.

The older complex will see its exhibition area grow from 13,000 square meters to 23,000 m2. Officials say the project is so far on schedule.

Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal announced during the start of the work in July. He hailed the plan as a way for Yucatan to compete for the lucrative business travel market.

The state is investing 220 million pesos, supervising 140 workers who had dismantled the offices of the Board of the Cultural and Tourist Services Units of the State (Cultur), which was in the interior of the Chichen Itza lounge. Workers are now focusing on foundation work and steel beams as they frame out the new wing.

As a safety precaution, the Siglo XXI Cinema has been temporarily closed. Events that had been scheduled at the Siglo XXI were moved to the new convention center. It is not clear whether every event has been accommodated.

The remodeling also includes the redesign of the southern facade as well as the creation of corridors and common areas with natural and artificial shade.

The existing Chichén Itzá and Uxmal halls and all the bathrooms, kitchens and warehouses will be overhauled.

The Centro de Convenciones Yucatán Siglo XXI was built in 1997, but struggled to compete with competitors in Mazatlan, Guadalajara and Mexico City.

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