Acapulco's Convention Center is truly beautiful structure. It was built in 1972 and, at the time, was said to be the most extravagant convention center in all of Mexico. It may still be. It is rumored to have cost some $50 million to build.
The Convention Center is on the Costera Alemán, just to the north of the traffic circle where the Acapulco Golf Club ends and the neighborhood of Costa Azul begins. It is easily spotted because of the long promenade from the street area up to the main concourse, which takes you past fountains and sail-like design features. At night, classical music plays, and the water in the fountains are illuminated by lights that change color.
The Convention Center is technically called the “Centro International de Acapulco” or “CIA.” Locally, almost everyone calls it simply the “Centro de Convenciones.” The facilities include two great indoor theater venues and one large area for outdoor concerts near the principal building. One of the theaters, named for Juan Ruiz de Alarcón (Mexico's principal dramatist of the "Golden Age," holds 1,000 attendees, and provides near perfect acoustics for plays and symphonic presentations.
In another wing of the Convention Center there is a grand meeting and banquet hall, with a large series of smaller meeting rooms besides. The main hall can easily accommodate up to 5,000 attendees. Also in the main part of the structure visitors will find a few shops, a post office, and several offices, including one of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a couple of foreign consulates. Except when a large concert is going on, the Convention Center seems unusually quiet and deserted, especially in contrast to the frenetic Costera out front.
The open lawn space in front of the Convention Center is often given over to large-scale outdoor concerts of popular rock or country groups, as well as special tent events like “Holiday on Ice” and a circus.
The Convention Center is undergoing a general renovation during 2010-11, so that visitors may find that some of the events, stores and offices have moved to temporary quarters elsewhere while the work proceeds.