Latest CVB/Chamber News & Views...
Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces 2015 Board of Directors
The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud to announce its Board Officers for 2015. The complete roster is listed below:
Dorothy E. Maxwell, Chair
Max Weingar Group
Mike Rice, Vice Chair
Lansing Quality Suites Hotel
Mark Alley, Secretary-Treasurer
Emergent BioDefense Operations Lansing, LLC
Barry Freed, Past-Chair
Art Craft Display, Inc.
Cindy Bowen, Crowne Plaza Lansing West
Thomas M. Collins, Traverse City Leasing, Inc.
Kellie Dean, Dean Transportation/Dean Trailways
Brian McGrain, Ingham County Commissioner
Eric Sudol, East Lansing Marriott at University Place
Rick Dunlap, Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol
Rebecca Selesky, Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
“We are very fortunate to have such a vital, dedicated group of business professionals and community leaders comprising our Board,” said Bureau President, Jack Schripsema. “I truly look forward to working with them to promote the Greater Lansing community.”
2014: Minneapolis’ Most Successful Year in Hospitality
Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, is celebrating 2014 as the most successful year in hospitality the city has seen. Record highs in hosted events, hotel occupancy, average daily hotel rate, revenue per available room, leisure and hospitality jobs along with the organization achieving all its key performance indicators, securing the 2018 National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl and 2019 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)® Men’s Final Four® and hosting a successful series of conventions and events that included the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress add up to what President and CEO Melvin Tennant calls the “Best. Year. Ever.”
Meet Minneapolis is responsible for achieving annual goals on its contract with the City of Minneapolis including four key performance indicators (KPIs), and all were met with success in 2014: nearly 504,000 future hotel room nights booked for meetings and conventions, nearly 71,000 leisure room nights booked, over $1.5 million in sponsorship revenue earned and $16.6 million in revenue earned at the Minneapolis Convention Center, which is the highest revenue recorded for the facility in its history. The future hotel room night bookings include the more than 71,000 total room nights for Super Bowl LII and more than 52,000 total room nights for the 2019 Final Four, along with numerous other conventions and events that will occupy the city’s hotel rooms in future years.
Hosting a record 534 meetings and conventions in the year of 2014, Minneapolis’ annual hotel occupancy was 72 percent with a record high $148 annual average daily rate (ADR) and another record high $107 revenue per available room (RevPAR). In spite of winter, traditionally a slower season for Minneapolis hotels, the sustained performance at 72 percent annual occupancy speaks volumes for the health of the industry here. Tennant points out that the hotel occupancy sustaining over 70 percent is considered nationally enviable, and is a level at which hotel developers will look closely at a city for adding hotel rooms. This, too, is already underway with a number of planned developments.
All of the results achieved in 2014 ultimately add up to a busy hospitality industry that employs members of the community. The City of Minneapolis now boasts more than 31,000 leisure and hospitality industry jobs.
Read the full release here.
Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau Donates Winter Clothing to Local Charity
The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is pleased to share that they have delivered the winter clothing collected through “The Big Bundle Up” to the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Madison (101 E. Mifflin St.). The GMCVB partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to collect warm winter clothing for a local charity. On January 21, 2015, GMCVB staff members delivered two carloads containing over 200 winter jackets, hats, mittens and other winter essentials to the families at the YWCA.
“We feel honored to be able to participate in such a wonderful program that directly impacts our community members. Everyone deserves to have warm winter clothing,” said Deb Archer, President & CEO of the GMCVB. “We truly appreciate the generosity we have seen from both residents and visitors,” added Archer.
The Big Bundle Up ran from November 25, 2014 – January 2, 2015. Lake Mills Cleaners & Dyers donated their cleaning services for the GMCVB’s donations. This is the fourth year of the program. In addition to the GMCVB, over 70 other locations served as donation sites throughout the state. In total, 16,948 winter items were collected for charities statewide. Visit TravelWisconsin.com for more information.
Photo: L to R: Rachel Krinsky, CEO of YWCA Madison; Erica Rykal, PR & Communications Asst. at GMCVB
Indy Tourism Celebrates Record-Breaking Year
2014 was a record-breaker for Indianapolis tourism. Visit Indy booked 880,552 convention hotel room-nights for future dates, the most since the organization’s founding in 1923.
The 2014 convention sales results significantly exceeded Visit Indy’s goal of 750,000 hotel room-nights for future dates (117.4%). The previous record was set in 2002 with 814,520 future convention hotel room-nights booked.
“2014 was a phenomenal year for Visit Indy, the City of Indianapolis, and Central Indiana's tourism industry,” said Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of Visit Indy. “Thanks to a decades-long vision and the continued support of community leaders, Indy's tourism industry is producing more jobs and tax revenue than even the most optimistic forecasts could have predicted. I'm particularly thankful to everyone at the Indiana Convention Center and our hotel community for consistently delivering on Indy's promise of "super service" and Hoosier Hospitality."
Hoops cited Indy's recognition last March as USA Today’s #1 Convention City in the U.S., as well as its inclusion on the New York Times "52 Places to Go" list, as major boosts to the city's visitor appeal in 2014.
Just a few of the major groups that contributed to the record numbers include: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 2017 North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2017 Annual Convention, GameStop Corporation’s 2018 EXPO, National Rifle Association’s 2019 and 2023 Annual Meeting, American Academy of Physician Assistants’ 2022 Annual Conference, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s conference in 2026.
In addition to the convention sales results, Visit Indy also set records for summer weekend leisure hotel room-nights (296,521) and VisitIndy.com website visits (2.41 million).
Hoops noted that Visit Indy is working closely with its civic and business partners to ensure 2014 does not remain the best year for Indianapolis tourism.
“We must continue striving to make Indy a must-visit destination or risk losing our hard-earned market share and visitor dollars to other cities,” he said.
Meeting Planners Invited to “Walk Where Lincoln Walked” In Always Legendary Springfield, Illinois
Meeting planners are invited to let local experts give them a behind-the-scenes tour of historic Springfield, Illinois in 2015.
Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau Acting Director Gina Gemberling said, “We have such a variety of events going on here next year, from national conventions to Big Ten Basketball to once-in-a-lifetime anniversary events at our historic sites, that we thought 2015 presented an opportunity to invite planners for hosted one-on-one tours of the city and our facilities. They can observe us doing what we do best, and we will match them with a member of our team to take them on personalized tours of our newly renovated convention center, lodging facilities, off-site venues and, of course, our world-class historic sites and attractions.”
With the newly renovated Prairie Capital Convention Center, over 4,000 hotel rooms, Abraham Lincoln historic sites, great local dining, and an economical and central location, Springfield is an ideal and often surprising destination for meetings and conventions of all kinds.
Events of possible interest for planners include three large national conventions during the summer months, several hobby, collectible and auto shows throughout the year, and five Fighting Illini men’s basketball games in November 2015. These events will be complemented by the 10th Anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which is offering special programs, theater performances and exhibits all year long. Planners are encouraged to visit when an event of interest is in town.
Meeting planners who would like to take part in a behind-the-scenes tour of Springfield and “walk where Lincoln walked” should contact the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-545-7300. Visits will be hosted by the Springfield CVB and some blackout dates and restrictions may apply.
RNC Announces July 2016 Convention Dates
The Republican National Committee has selected July 18-21 as the official dates for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
"I'm pleased to announce the 2016 Republican National Convention will kick off on July 18," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. "A convention in July is a historic success for our party and future nominee. The convention will be held significantly earlier than previous election cycles, allowing access to crucial general election funds earlier than ever before to give our nominee a strong advantage heading into Election Day.
“We're excited to continue working with our partners in Cleveland and we look forward to showcasing everything the city has to offer to our delegates and the world in 2016.”
Statement on behalf of Terry Egger:
“On behalf of the Cleveland Host Committee, we look forward to hosting the Republican National Convention July 18 -21, 2016 in Cleveland,” said Terry Egger, President and CEO of the Cleveland Host Committee. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the RNC and fulfilling our responsibilities as the host city along with reaching the goals set to execute the best possible political convention in 2016.”
Statement on behalf of Mayor Frank G. Jackson:
“We look forward to hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “Throughout this process we’ve been able to demonstrate our ability and passion to host the RNC while letting the site selection committee know whichever date they picked, Cleveland would make it happen.”
Read the full release here.
15 in 15: Fort Wayne to Host 15 New Meetings and Sports Tournaments in 2015
After hosting many prestigious state and regional events in 2014, Fort Wayne will host 15 new groups in 2015.
Several of these new events will take place at two of Northeast Indiana's premier meeting venues, Grand Wayne Convention Center and Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The list of new events include the following:
Great Lakes Chi Alpha Campus Ministries Conference
National United Wrestling Association Mat Mayhem
International Conference of Police Chaplains Regional Training Seminar
North American Brass Band Association Championship Contest
Indiana Junior Classic League Annual State Convention
United Church of Christ Office Support Staff Network Annual Conference
International Shuri-Ryu Association Martial Arts Seminar
Hoopin N the Summit
National Association of Colored Women Clubs Central Regional Convention
Detroit Church of Christ Women's Conference
International Federation of Leather Guilds Conference and Trade Show
Great Lakes Chi Alpha Campus Ministries Fall Retreat
Great Lakes Shrine Association Annual Meeting
Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Indiana Annual Session
US Figure Skating Eastern Great Lakes Regional Championships
In total, Fort Wayne will welcome more than 100 meetings and sporting tournaments in 2015, generating more than $32 million dollars in economic impact.
For more information on these groups and the economic impact of meetings, sports tournaments and leisure tourism in Fort Wayne, contact Visit Fort Wayne President/CEO Dan O'Connell at (260) 424-3700.
Educational Testing Service Brings 2,000 Educators to Cincinnati USA for 6th Consecutive Year in Region