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Williston ARC is a Game Changer
As the grand opening of the Williston Area Recreation Center (ARC), the largest parks district-owned rec center in the nation, draws near, the implications of having such a facility in town are not lost on the Williston Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).
“As our community expands and becomes unlike anything it has ever been before, this recreation center will create opportunities for Williston we haven’t had in the past,” commented Amy Krueger, Williston CVB Executive Director. “Our job is to bring visitors into town, which keeps our entrepreneurs and business community healthy. The Williston ARC is a huge attraction for our region.”
In addition to many features that will attract families from surrounding communities, such as an indoor water complex, indoor playground and birthday party rooms, the Williston ARC will also offer a venue that can host a myriad of amateur sports events. The fifty meter competition pool with bleacher seating is capable of hosting state meets, and a 200 meter competition track wraps around 4 basketball courts. Combined with the other courts in Williston, the community will soon be capable of hosting multiple tournaments and track meets, even in inclement weather. “When these teams pull into town, they are eating in our restaurants, sleeping in our hotels, and are often followed by parents who spend the day in town,” noted Amy. “Our hotels have rooms to rent; they aren’t full. There are more hotels planning to build, as well. The Williston ARC is an attraction that will help us fill those hotels on a long-term basis.”
The Williston ARC’s grand opening celebration is on March 28 at 4pm. For more information about the ARC, contact the Williston Parks and Recreation District at 774-9773.
“Committed to Success”: Cincinnati USA CVB Reflects on Growth and Looks to Future at 2014 Annual Meeting
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) held its 2014 Annual Meeting today at the Duke Energy Convention Center in front of hundreds of business professionals, civic leaders and members of the regional hospitality industry.
Themed “Committed to Success: Building our Future with Purpose and Passion,” the 2014 Annual Meeting celebrated the recent growth and development of Cincinnati USA and reflected on the successes of the destination in 2013. With a nod to the past year’s record numbers of visitors, strong convention bookings, and the signing of the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the CVB recognized industry partners and the 2013 Spirit Award winners at the event.
Success: An Ongoing Commitment
Fox News Anchor and Cincinnati native Bill Hemmer, new Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, and CVB Board Chair Delores Hargrove-Young were among the meeting's speakers, with CVB president and CEO Dan Lincoln and Hargrove-Young presenting results from the CVB’s work in 2013.
The CVB reported the highest hotel bookings in over ten years, with 2013 contracts representing 219,855 future hotel room nights and $65.5 million in economic impact. Since 2005, the Bureau has booked a cumulative total of more than 1.7 million room nights, bringing estimated visitor spending to the region to more than $500 million. The CVB’s Sales leads increased in 2013 as well, up to more than 760,000 room nights, and the hotel room rate for bookings increased by more than 10 percent.
The Bureau’s new 2013 trade advertising campaign titled “Look at Us Now” heralded the region’s incredible recent growth to meeting planners and the convention industry, generating more than 14 million total brand impressions. A trade and consumer media relations program produced over 1,100 press stories, representing over $4 million in publicity value and key headlines in national publications, including Midwest Living, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Smart Meetings, and dozens more.
“The CVB’s Annual Meeting is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate its shared commitment to progress,” said new Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “Our city’s changing reputation and many successes shows that our efforts are already paying off, from the increase in visitors to being considered as the host city for the 2016 Republican National Convention. I am committed to furthering Cincinnati’s success in 2014, and am proud to support Dan Lincoln and the CVB team as they continue to bring major conventions and meetings to our city.”
Over the next four years, Cincinnati USA will host the National Urban League (2014), the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (2014), the Church of God in Christ (2016), the National Square Dance Convention (2017), and the Church of the Brethren (2018), in addition to welcoming the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Fox News Anchor and Cincinnati native Bill Hemmer spoke on his hometown’s transformation over the past decade, using his national perspective to share the changing perceptions of Cincinnati and where he sees the destination going in the future.
Building through Inclusion
In 2013, the CVB took a leadership role in the industry by establishing an inclusive and measurable Supplier Diversity Program, becoming one of the few Bureaus in the country to have such a program. From purchasing guidelines to membership training, this new program has already seen success for the CVB, driving its spending of more than $300,000 with local women and minority-owned businesses.
“In today’s business landscape, no organization can afford to become fixed in one way of doing things,” said Delores Hargrove-Young, board chair of the Cincinnati USA CVB. “I’m proud to report that the first year of the CVB’s Supplier Diversity Program has fundamentally changed how we operate as an organization and established Cincinnati USA as a progressive Bureau, deeply committed to incorporating diversity into everyday business practices.”
The CVB presented the inaugural Horace Sudduth Progress Business Award, new to the Spirit of Cincinnati USA Awards program, to the Horseshoe Casino for its exemplary commitment to working with minority and women-owned businesses in the community. Other organizations and people who earned Spirit Awards for exemplary service and contributions to the region in 2013 included the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for their work with Lumenocity; the Cincinnati Police Department; the 21c Museum Hotel; Shari Einsel of the Duke Energy Convention Center; Victoria Morgan and Terry Honebrink of the Cincinnati Ballet. This year’s awards presentation culminated with a special recognition of Teddy Kremer, naming him the Spirit of Cincinnati USA Ambassador for his inspirational story and unquenchable spirit. Click here for a full list of winners.
CVB as Incubator
In addition to the Supplier Diversity Program, the CVB also took a leadership role in incubating two key programs to raise awareness of the region and drive engagement. Source Cincinnati, an independent non-profit incubated by the CVB and funded by a region-wide corporate and civic coalition, was created in 2013. The organization is dedicated to amplifying the “Cincinnati Story” to national media, using social media and press outreach to enhance perceptions of Cincinnati USA as a world-class region for everything from business and innovation to start ups and quality of life.
Led by former CVB board chair Louise Hughes and Shannon Carter, the CVB also incubated the new Welcomers Program, a region-wide network linking local volunteers passionate about our region with service opportunities at events, conventions and hospitality organizations.
Collaboration: A Shared Vision
The meeting highlighted successful leisure tourism results for the region, reported by Linda Antus, president of the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network (RTN), the organization funded in part by the CVB to fulfill its leisure tourism mission. In 2013, the RTN increased its marketing return on investment to an all-time high of $53.26 for every dollar invested in promoting leisure travel. The RTN also contributed more than $124 million in economic impact to the region in 2013.
“Every year, we are honored as a CVB to gather together in a room where every single person has a shared commitment to the success of our city,” said Dan Lincoln, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO. “In a region where every achievement depends on a shared vision and spirit of collaboration, it only makes sense that this event celebrates our community’s positive growth and looks forward to even greater heights to be reached by our work together.”
For more information about the CVB’s 2013 results and its partnerships with the RTN, Greater Cincinnati Sports Corp., Northern Kentucky CVB and Duke Energy Convention Center, click here to view the CVB's 2013 Annual Report.
About the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is an aggressive sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County's and the City of Cincinnati's economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $4.1 billion industry in Cincinnati USA, employing 94,000 people in a variety of fields and, bringing 22.7 million visitors to the region in 2011. Click here for more information.
Jefferson City CVB Appoints New Board Members
The Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) serves as the primary liaison between Missouri's capital city and the thousands of visitors who frequent our community each year. The Bureau officially announces the appointment of two new members to serve a three year term on the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors.
Cynthia (Cyndy) Schnieders joins the board from Central Bank where she began her career in 1979. She spent 12 years managing the West branch and in 2012 started a new sector of the bank, "private banking". Aside from her work at Central Bank Cyndy is actively involved in several community groups including Special Learning Center, the Strategic Planning/Marketing Committee for Capital Region, Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce, the Westside and Downtown Business Associations, and many others.
Steve Bohlken, Jefferson City native, joins the board from Capital Sand Company, where he has served as President for the past 16 years. Steve is also active on the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Services Committee and is looking forward to being involved with the CVB and helping the community of Jefferson City to continue moving forward.
"Cyndy and Steve bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the group. Their passion to serve the community makes them both great additions to the board" said Executive Director Diane Gillespie.
The Bureau would like to thank exiting members Jake Schmitz of Central Bank and Sharon Naught of Naught-Naught Agency for their years of service and dedication to the board and for their contributions to the CVB. Additionally, Dale Gerstner, owner of Best Western Plus Capital Inn, has been reappointed to his three year term.
About the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was founded in 1989 to maximize the positive economic impact of visitor dollars to the community by effectively marketing the Jefferson City area as a desirable convention and tourism destination.
USA Climbing Awards the 2015 American Bouldering Series National Championships to Madison, Wisconsin
USA Climbing, the United States National Governing Body for the sport of competition climbing announced today that it has awarded the 2015 American Bouldering Series (ABS) National Championships to Madison, Wisconsin. The events will take place over two weeks in February, beginning with an Open National Championship on February 5 - 6 followed by the Youth National Championship from February 12 -14.
Cohosted by the Boulders Climbing Gym, the ABS National Championships will take place in Monona Terrace, a stunning Frank Lloyd Wright-designed facility on the shores of Lake Monona, providing a spectacular setting for the countries’ finest bouldering climbers. The event will feature USA Climbing’s world-class bouldering wall – also used for the annual IFSC World Cup in Vail, Colorado – and an international webcast bringing the event to fans across the country and the globe.
“This is a really exciting event for the Madison Area Sports Commission and our partners to be able to bring to Madison, Wisconsin. We can’t wait to see our unique venue-- Monona Terrace transformed into a climbing mecca that will be set up for the National Championships show. We’ll be treated to some amazing elite climbers as well as some young up and comers in the sport with both the elite and youth national competition taking place next February,” said Jamie Patrick Director of Sports Sales and Program Development for the Madison Area Sports Commission.
“We are really looking forward to bringing the ABS National Championships and the best bouldering climbers in the nation to Madison next year” said USA Climbing CEO Mary-Clare Brennan. “Madison is a tremendous college town and climbing community and we appreciate the support of both the Madison Sports Commission and the Boulders Climbing Gym. We’re going to have a great time there next year.”
Des Moines Unveils Arts & Culture Campaign for Visitors
Catch a new initiative created to expose visitors and locals alike to Des Moines’ arts and culture scene: Catch Des Moines Culture. The project includes a new website, out-of-state advertising campaigns, an expansion of the community calendar and an arts and culture e-newsletter. The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau lead the effort, along with Capital Crossroads’ Cultural Tourism, Cultural Capital and Community Calendar committees, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs with representatives of the Iowa Arts Council, Des Moines Performing Arts and Bravo Greater Des Moines.
“The new Catch Des Moines Culture initiative is designed with the visitor in mind,” says Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The campaign is a one-stop shop for the world-class arts and culture Greater Des Moines has to offer.”
The Catch Des Moines Culture initiative promotes arts and culture sectors including Opera and Classical Music, Concerts and Live Music, Theater and Dance, Museums and Cultural Attractions, Galleries and Exhibits, Public Art, Festivals, Film and Cinema and Literary Arts.
To catch a glimpse of the new campaign:
The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote Greater Des Moines as a fun, vibrant and affordable destination statewide, nationally and internationally. Our focus increases visitors to our community through meetings, conventions, sports events, leisure travel, and group tours, thereby contributing to the local economy.