CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bob Simpson opened the Summit Conference Center because he believed in face-to-face meetings and thought Charleston needed a place designed specifically for business meetings.
After serving the city for 16 years, the center at 129 Summers St. is up for sale or lease, but will stay open through Dec. 21.
"It's simply a matter of economics regarding the continued operation of the conference center," Simpson said of the decision to put the building on the market.
Simpson said the long-term business outlook wasn't viable even without losing clients.
"We had our best year ever in 2010," Simpson said. "We came through the recession and things were looking great. And then we sort of experienced a steady slide in the volume of business."
Companies used to meet five or six times a year and now it's just once, Simpson said.
He attributes the decline in business to technology and companies reducing operating budgets.
"Companies have found other ways to communicate than meeting face-to-face," he said.
When outfitting the building to serve business clients Simpson said they made sure each meeting room had enough desks and space, technology such as videoconferencing and ergonomic chairs for comfort.