Renovations are under way at the EpiCentre in uptown Charlotte, where several businesses are renting out space for the DNC. From hundreds of new plants to freshened exteriors and even statues, the million-dollar makeover is expected to be finished by next week.
“The idea is that we wanted to bring it up a level and add some nice features to it,” said Ed Camp, EpiCentre's director of development.
During the DNC, MSNBC will broadcast from a stage in the commons area, with some of its shows airing from inside Black Finn Saloon. CNN is transforming Vida Cantina into the CNN Grill, and several private events have been booked throughout the EpiCentre, including for the Black Congressional Caucus.
But will the media, pundits and security choke out paying customers?
“There will be private parties, of course, and those will be throughout the center, but it's certainly accessible, and we want the public here,” Camp said.
Many of the changes will remain at the venue even after the DNC is over. But right now, planners are focused on helping Charlotte make the right impression on tens of thousands of visitors.
“We want them when they arrive here to feel welcome and to want to come back, and to see what we've done to get ready for them,” Camp said.