History & Future
The first exhibition centre to open up in Sweden, The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, had 530 exhibitors and was inaugurated in 1918 by His Majesty Gustav V. Five years later the city of Göteborg celebrated it’s 300 anniversary and arranged the World Expo for which a large exhibition hall of 40.000 m2 was built. A lot has happened since then and today The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre consists of 148.000 m2, right in the heart of the city. The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s conference and congress department, was developed in the beginning of the 1970s.
In 1984 the towershaped Hotel Gothia (Gothia Towers) was built – the first tower with 294 hotel rooms.
The Congress building completed. Gothenburg becomes an international congress city. The big test comes with the staging of the European Football League Championships, with more than 400 international delegates and direct TV broadcasts to millions of viewers in 22 countries.
In order to meet a growing demand and to attract large congresses with need for accommodation, a decision was made to extend the number of hotel rooms and a second tower, The West Tower, is inaugurated. The hotel, which now has 704 rooms, becomes Gothia Towers – the largest hotel in Scandinavia! At the same time, two new restaurants opened in Gothia Towers: Heaven 23 (at the top of the West Tower) and Incontro (in the hotel lobby).
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In March, the new breakfast restaurant and party venue Estrad was inaugurated, offering a dining capacity of 700 guests. This was the year a dream target was passed for Gothia Towers’ King Size shrimp sandwiches. For the very first time since sales began, more than 100 000 shrimp sandwiches were sold in one year.
January 2009 saw the opening of Gothia Towers’ conference restaurant, Mix. The same year, in March, Incontro, then the lobby bar, was relocated to new premises at the corner of Skånegatan and Korsvägen, with Gothia Towers’ very first al fresco dining. The premises that formerly housed Incontro were then converted into the Livingroom Lobby Bar. Tuesday 5th May, at 5.04 pm, the one millionth King Size was sold at Gothia Towers restaurants. The famous shrimp sandwich was first sold in 1984, the year in which Hotel Gothia officially opened its doors.
In 2011, 155 611 King Size shrimp sandwiches were sold at Gothia Towers restaurants. So far, this is a record in the number of King Sizes sold in any one year at Gothia Towers.
This March, the Board of The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre took the formal decision to add a third tower to the Gothia Towers Hotel and extend the tower currently known as the East Tower.
The work will take place in parallel, starting with the East Tower, which will be extended by six storeys. Its official opening, as the then centrally located Crown Tower, is scheduled for summer 2013. The construction of the third tower is due for completion in the second half of 2014.
The whole project will add more than 500 rooms to the hotel, giving it a total of 1,200 rooms.
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Our new restaurant and lobby bar West Coast – a modern bistro with a market hall atmosphere, featuring the very best of the west coast’s ingredients – opened on Friday 24 August.