Artist's rendition of the P.E.I. Convention Centre, which is expected to open in July. (Meetings and Conventions P.E.I.)

The new $17.5-million P.E.I. Convention Centre on the Charlottetown waterfront is almost ready to open.

The 2,800 square-metre space, which is attached to the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, is set to open at the end of July.

When it does, groups as large as 1,000 people will be able to hold conferences at the centre. Previously, the maximum was 400.

Betty Anne Morrison, the Delta's director of sales, said she's already booking four years down the road.   

"I think it's going to be fabulous for P.E.I. and the economy, and the rest of the hotels and the restaurants and the shopping. So I think a huge boost to the economy," said Morrison.

So far for 2013, bookings are just for weddings and small groups. Officials said larger groups are hesitant to book close to an opening date. But a dozen larger groups have reserved for next year.

The centre has seen some major construction setbacks that delayed opening and affected business.

Despite those setbacks, the first event will be a wedding on August 3. The grand opening is set for August 27.


Betty Anne Morrison, the Delta's director of sales, is booking groups for four years from now. (CBC)

Work was put on hold in November 2011 for four months after the steel seawall around the site buckled for the second time under the pressure of shale dumped onto the site.

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