Visitors get glimpse of new-look Cobo Center in Detroit

DETROIT – It wasn't long ago that Cobo Center was so far behind the times that the hosts of the North American International Auto Show were considering moving somewhere else. But $279 million later, the new Cobo Center is ready for its close up.

It's the new Motor City welcome sign and people visiting this week are loving it.

"It's really been amazing," said Sharon Aguayo, from New York City. "It's been very impressive."

Detroit Tech Entrepreneur Josh Linkner is kicking off this week's American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting and Expo at Cobo. On Sunday, it was standing room only.

The key: 87 percent of the 5,500 people here for the conference have never been to Detroit before. They are packing hotels and restaurants and walking around downtown. Detroit is getting the chance at a first impression so that the leaders book their association group's meetings and conventions here.

"That gives the city a chance to shine," said Susan Robertson, Executive VP of ASAE.

The ASAE and the city worked together for seven years to make this week happen. Moving forward, Cobo and the city are ready to host more meetings just like this one.

About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.