Panama’s first convention center, ATLAPA built over 40 years ago, is now too small for the big country’s events and the government has commissioned a new one opposite the Amador Causeway. However, there is a group that includes the Chamber of Commerce, concert promoters, charitable and professional associations that want to buy, refurbish and keep the center for posterity and save it from being demolished to make room for another condominium building, hotel or shopping mall.
Irvin A. Halman, the former president of the Chamber of Commerce of Panama said that a group of ATLAPA users approached the Panama’s Tourism Authority (ATP) to buy the convention center, but due to legal limitations, nothing has happened yet.
Under a master plan, around $150 million would be spent modernizing the convention center. ATLAPA would be administered by a board of trustees and the money obtained from the events would be used in its upkeep. The Chamber will continue pushing the idea to the government.
For now, until the new convention center in Amador is finished, the Chamber of Commerce will continue to hold its events there, although the venue is too small for their requirements.