About River's Edge

  1. History
  2. Timeline
  3. Room Names

Convention Center History

St. Cloud began as three separate settlements on the Mississippi. One of the town sites was begun by a former slave owner involved in the fur trade, bringing slave-owning Southerners to the area. A second settlement was begun by a professional town-entrepreneur who attracted Protestants opposed to slavery. The third site was intended for a sawmill which drew Catholics from Germany. In spite of the differences, the three settlements eventually merged into one city in 1856. The name "St. Cloud" was chosen to reflect the area’s long-ago French heritage, being named after a suburb of Paris, France.

The City’s scenic and energetic downtown formed on the river’s edge. More than a century later, the City conceived and built the St. Cloud Civic Center at a cost of $10.9 million in 1989. It was natural to build the center along the banks of the Mississippi with the river as its principal focus. Meeting rooms were located facing the river, and the common space was designed to facilitate access from the street to the panoramic views of the river. The new Civic Center became a hub of activity in St. Cloud, the scene of thousands of:

  • Conferences
  • Consumer events
  • Regional events
  • Sports events
  • Trade shows
  • Weddings

By the early 2000s, it was clear that size limitations kept the Civic Center from realizing its full potential. After a decade of planning, negotiations and acquisitions, St. Cloud embarked on a $22 million expansion funded by the local food and beverage tax. Completed in January 2012, the project nearly doubled the size of the center, while enhancing all spaces and improving parking options. As a fitting touch, the center was renamed the River’s Edge Convention Center to keep the spotlight on the waterway that runs beside it. The growth in events and patronage made possible by the 2012 expansion strained the on-site parking capacity of the Convention Center.  In December 2016 the 372-stall River’s Edge West Parking Ramp opened.

Convention Center Today

Today the River’s Edge Convention Center includes 150,000 square feet of space, 19 meeting rooms, 60,000 square feet of continuous exhibit space, and a 16,000 square foot ballroom. Three public parking ramps comprising more than 1,200 stalls are within a block of the facility. The Convention Center is owned and operated by the City of St. Cloud. Visit the City of St. Cloud website.