Latest CVB/Chamber News...
Omaha Lands in More Cities
August 24, 2015
Flying to Omaha, NE just got easier. Four new non-stop flights from key cities across the country make Omaha an even more inviting destination. Southwest, Alaska and Allegiant Airlines have all announced new non-stop service to Omaha.
“As airlines expand service they are seeing Omaha as a key destination in the heartland,” said Keith Backsen, Executive Director of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Omaha’s central location paired with strong passenger demand continues to increase accessibility for convention groups and leisure travelers looking to visit Omaha.”
New non-stop airline service includes:
With the additional service, Omaha will offer non-stop flights to 24 of the nation’s busiest airports.
“The new flights also create competition among airlines, which can benefit consumers and make Omaha an even more affordable meeting destination,” added Backsen.
Click here for an updated flight map provided by the Omaha Airport Authority.
Navigating the Future: Ports‐to‐Plains Alliance
August 21, 2015
The Ports‐to‐Plains Alliance, together with co‐hosts Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association, Williston Economic Development, Williston Convention and Visitors Bureau and North Dakota Department of Commerce, will be holding its 18th Annual Conference in Williston, ND on October 6‐8, 2015 at the Grand Williston Hotel & Conference Center. The Alliance chose North Dakota because of the significant impacts of energy production on the transportation system along with the significant investment to improving highway infrastructure in western North Dakota by the North Dakota legislature and the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
Williston, through its membership in the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway, has long been a partner in moving the mission of the Ports‐to‐Plains Alliance forward. Williston has grown from 466th in 2006 to 2nd in 2014 and 2015 in it Economic Strength Ranking as a Micropolitan Area according to Policom Corporation. Experiencing extensive growth over the past several years, Williston has become one of the best places in America for an entrepreneur to start a business. With the extensive investment in infrastructure the community has now shifted from a boom to a business model and is ripe for primary, secondary and tertiary sector development.
This year's theme is NAVIGATING THE FUTURE. To help communities and businesses to navigate their own futures, the conference focuses on economic development and the relationship to transportation infrastructure. Starting from Williston and the state of North Dakota, the agenda will include Brad Bekkadahl who serves on the Board of Directors of the Ports‐ to‐Plains Alliance as well as the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association. Brad has served as a City Commissioner in Williston since 1996 and was elected as a North Dakota State Senator in 2014. Brad provides an overview of the changing economic landscape as no one else can.
The conference kicks off on Tuesday, October 6th with the opening reception at 5:30 pm at Missouri‐Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center followed by a concert by Watford City, ND native Jessie Veeder. Conference presentations are scheduled all day on Wednesday, October 7th and until noon on Thursday, October 8th. Complete conference, lodging, agenda and sponsorship opportunities are available at http://www.portstoplains.com/index.php/news‐events/2015‐annual‐conference.
Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau Receives Destination Marketing Reaccreditation
August 19, 2015
The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau has been awarded with the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal, through Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). The recognition indicates that the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to meet or exceed rigorous industry standards for performance and accountability.
"We are honored to receive accreditation through DMAP again," said Greg Edwards, President & CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission. "This confirms that our organization is operating and performing at a level that is valued and respected by the industry and our community."
DMAP accreditation is an international standard that defines quality and consistency of performance in destination marketing and management. The program requires organizations to successfully comply with a multitude of mandatory and voluntary standards that span a variety of performance areas including:
"DMAP accreditation requires destination marketing organizations like the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau to truly evaluate and define not only their policies and procedures, but also determine their guiding principles and solidify their importance to their communities in all they do," said Jack Wert, DMAP Board Chair.
The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau is one of more than 200 destination marketing organizations who obtained DMAP recognition. This will be the bureau’s second reaccreditation since it was first accredited in 2007. The reaccreditation is valid through July 2019.
Yet Another Record Year for DuPage County Tourism Revenues
August 17, 2015
The DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is pleased to announce that DuPage County tourism expenditures continue to rise, with 2014’s revenues and tax contributions at all-time highs for the third straight year.
According to the State of Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT), visitors to DuPage County contributed $2.428 billion to the state’s economy in 2014, representing a 4.8% increase over 2013. In comparison, 2013 experienced a 3.1% increase over 2012.
DuPage County continues to rank second only to Cook County for overall tourism expenditures, tourism industry payrolls, employment figures, and state and local tax revenues.
Payrolls for DuPage County tourism reached $605.73 million, an increase of 3.7% over last year, while the number of tourism-related jobs increased to 21,550, up 1.2%.
Tourism in DuPage County was responsible for a 5.1% increase, to $146.1 million, in state tax receipts over the previous year. Local tax receipts reached $40.04 million, a 4.6% increase.
“Not only were these record-breaking numbers, but the percentage increases were all noticeably higher than the already-impressive percentage increases from 2012 to 2013,” stated DuPage CVB Executive Director Beth Marchetti. “It’s evident that more and more visitors to the Chicago area are recognizing the value and hospitality that DuPage County offers both the business and leisure traveler.”
“Being just 20 miles west of Chicago, DuPage County offers a central location and so much more to both leisure and business travelers,” Marchetti continued. “Over 100 hotels, 16,000+ guest rooms and nearly 2 million square feet of meeting space. World-class dining shopping and entertainment. Easy access to O’Hare and Midway international airports, major interstates and commuter rail lines. It’s not hard to see why so many people consider Chicago’s western suburbs to be an attractive and affordable alternative to staying in the city.”
For more information about tourism’s economic impact on DuPage County, contact the bureau at 800.232.0502 or visit DiscoverDuPage.com.
Prince Hall Shriners Convention Returns August 14-20, Bringing Thousands for Imperial Council Session
August 14, 2105
The Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine – more commonly known as the Prince Hall Shriners – will return to Cincinnati USA for its 2015 Imperial Council Session and Annual Convention from August 14 – 20, 2015. The convention will bring together nearly 4,000 members from across the country from both the Shrine Organization itself and its Auxiliary – the Imperial Court – which is composed of wives, sisters, mothers and daughters of the membership.
Prince Hall Shrine delegates are contracted to use more than 12,000 total hotel room nights and spend $3.6 million at local hotels, restaurants and attractions during the event. The Imperial Council Session and Annual Convention will be held primarily at the Duke Energy Convention Center (DECC), with host hotels including the Garfield Suites Hotel, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, and Millennium Hotel Cincinnati, as well as properties in Northern Kentucky.
The 2015 convention marks the return of the Shriners to Cincinnati after a highly successful conference in 2011. This year’s event will again be highly visible in the community, as it provides live entertainment, health screenings and charitable work throughout the downtown area and across the region. The Shriners will also make donations to the American Diabetes Association and St. Jude Children's Hospital during the week of the convention, as well as present free book bags and bicycles to the students at Frederick Douglass Elementary in Cincinnati.
“Downtown Cincinnati has undergone an extraordinary amount of development since our last meeting here in 2011,” commented Rochelle Julian, Imperial Potentate (highest ranking official) of the Prince Hall Shriners. “We left with a very positive impression of the city in 2011, and with all of the new entertainment, dining, and hotel options that have emerged in the 4 years since our last visit, I can guarantee that our members will again be pleased with their experience in Cincinnati. We are looking forward to what promises to be a great week for our organization and the local community.”
Convention programming will be running at the Duke Energy Convention Center from August 14-20, and live entertainment on Fountain Square will take place beginning August 16 to welcome the organization. Many events will be available for the public to participate in throughout the conference.
“As we saw with the MLB All-Star Game, our destination knows that hosting successful region-wide events is about more than just opening our convention facilities,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s about our entire community welcoming our visitors and showing them the people, places and passion that make Cincinnati such a special place. That dedication to hospitality is an integral part of how our industry works together to bring organizations like the Prince Hall Shriners back for future events.”
For specific questions regarding media or public participation in conference events, contact Les Miller, Jr. Imperial Director, Imperial Public & Media Relations Department, AEAONMS, at 813.833.8300.
VISIT Milwaukee Booth wins 2nd place at ASAE
August 13, 2014
Faced with proposals for a traditional booth design for the 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Detroit this week, VISIT Milwaukee decided to take matters in-house. Creative Services Manager Hayley Gallagher created a fun and engaging concept that won 2nd place for “Best-in-show in-line booth contest.”
“Although Milwaukee is known for its beer culture, we also have a pretty rich Bloody Mary scene, so we thought that might attract some good booth traffic,” said Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Megan Gaus.
And 700 Bloody Marys later, the concept proved to be a huge hit, with people lined up for the drink, with optional garnishes of Milwaukee sausage, pickles and cheese, along with olives, pearl onions and more. A colorful graphic display of Milwaukee icons formed the backdrop for the winning booth, which generated lots of energy and was all the rage on social media at the show.
Photo: From left to right: Lauren Hyps, VISIT Milwaukee; Maureen DeValkenaere, Milwaukee Marriott West; Paul Upchurch, Jeff Baryenbruch, Marco Bloemendaal, Brian Hutchings, and Megan Gaus, all of VISIT Milwaukee; Bill Bull, Marcus Hotels & Resorts.
USBC Junior Gold and Youth Open Bowling Championships Mean Success for DuPage County Economy
August 6, 2015
The long-anticipated USBC Junior Gold Championships and USBC Youth Open Championships have been going on in DuPage County since July 9. The DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Stardust Bowl Group (SBG) partnered to bring these national events to DuPage. Early projections show an estimated economic impact for the area of about $17 million.
“This is a prime example of how visitors participating in events, tournaments and meetings in DuPage County play a vital economic role and are absolutely essential for Illinois’ recovery,” states Executive Director Beth Marchetti of the DuPage CVB. “In addition to the state and local hotel taxes generated by these visitors, trips to attractions, waterparks, restaurants, stores, gas stations, and many other local businesses will result in significant additional tax revenue.”
The Youth Open Championships ran July 9-26, and the Junior Gold event was held July 11-17. These tournaments have generated over 6,358 room nights in DuPage County hotels so far, according to preliminary reports from Connections Housing, the Georgia-based hotel reservation company hired by tournament officials. Audited final pickup numbers won’t be available until mid-August.
Hotel overflow, or compression, was felt throughout Chicagoland, particularly in the communities of Schaumburg, St. Charles, Elgin, Hillside and others close to DuPage County and the bowling centers that handled tournament play.
A total of over 300 lanes were used in six bowling centers for these tournaments. Venues included Stardust Bowl in Addison, Hillside Bowl in Hillside, Classic Bowl in Morton Grove, Orland Bowl in Orland Park, Brunswick Zone in River Grove and Fox Bowl in Wheaton.
After the July 11th tournament registration event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Oak Brook, General Manager Chris Johnson stated, “We sold over $25,000 in food and beverage in temporary food stations in a four-hour window. Unbelievable!” The Doubletree was the host hotel for both championship events.
“On average, every bowler brought 3.8 people along, so orchestrating the flow of 11,800 people through the parking lot, hotel and registration required a well-rehearsed plan to ensure a good experience for our guests,” commented Marchetti. “This truly was a team effort by many of our communities, but particularly Oak Brook and Addison, whose unparalleled efforts ensured safety and support for all of our athletes and families.”
“Our director of sales, Lisa Landers, is already working with Henry Barber and Jim Saffold of Stardust Bowl Group and tournament organizers to secure a spot for DuPage County in their next rotation cycle, possibly as soon as 2018,” Marchetti added.
Contact Nanette Traetow at the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau at 630.575.8070 or email@example.com for more information about these events and DuPage County’s involvement.
Greater Lansing Tourism Up Third Straight Year – On Pace For A Record 2015
August 3, 2015
The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB), is pleased to announce that according to recent data from Smith Travel Research, Inc. (STR) the Greater Lansing region is on pace for a record year.
Through June, the hotels in Greater Lansing’s jurisdiction report 2015 Average Daily Rate (ADR) is 7.5% ahead of last year’s figure at $96.74. Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) is 11.3% ahead of last year at $58.89. Additionally, Greater Lansing area hotel occupancy has shown a strong 3.6% increase over last year with an occupancy rate of 60.9%.
“Hotel visitation numbers for the first six months of 2015 have been incredibly strong for the Greater Lansing region,” said Jack Schripsema, GLCVB President and CEO. “Due in large part to a number of big convention groups meeting in the region like Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, the National Order of the Arrow and the Michigan Dental Association. Additionally, large sports tournaments such as USA Hockey Girls Tier II Nationals Championships, the Dead Frog Far Out Volleyball Tournament and the USTA Midwest Level 1 Outdoor Closed Championships helped demand for hotel rooms reach a ten-year high.”
The increases in regional hotel visitation is a positive sign for regional tourism; a key element to a healthy local economy. According to a 2013 study performed by the Anderson Economic Group, the Greater Lansing region welcomes 4.7 million visitors every year, generating an economic impact of over $472 million dollars. Guests to the Capital region pay taxes on fuel, lodging, food, retail and more. The total is an average of over $22 million in state taxes annually and $395 million to the Greater Lansing GDP.
STR is an independent American research company that tracks supply and demand data for the hotel industry and provides market share analysis for all major hotel chains and brands in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau Launches New App
July 30, 2015
The Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud to announce it has launched a new app, Discover Brown County. The app is Brown County’s official handheld, mobile guide, providing easy navigation for visitors.
With its click-to-call feature, visitors will now be able to access more information on shops, restaurants, attractions, and lodging properties, as well as make reservations quickly. Discover Brown County also will provide visitors with the opportunity to find and search for events happening throughout the county. Additionally, visitors will be able to share their favorite Brown County locations and connect with the Brown County Visitors Center on social media through the app.
Visitors no longer will have to wander around or stop to ask for directions to find parking, restrooms, or other attractions. Instead, the app’s easy-to-follow directions will guide visitors to the destinations they are seeking.
Brooke Weichselfelder, Brown County CVB Digital Marketing Coordinator, explains that the new app was designed with the visitor’s convenience in mind. “Not only does the Discover Brown County app show you what there is in Brown County, it uses your phone’s location services to find out what’s closest to where you’re currently at,” says Weichselfelder. “Looking for a quick bite to eat and don’t want to walk far? It will pull up all of the restaurants in order of how close they are to your current location.”
Weichselfelder also believes Brown County’s new app is a great resource for both visitors and the local community. She encourages everyone to check it out. “Whatever you’re looking for in Brown County, whether it’s where to go hiking, where to see a live show, where to find the closest beverage, or even a local events calendar, you can find it on this app,” says Weichselfelder. “It’s like having a personal tour guide right in your pocket!”
The Discover Brown County app is free and can be downloaded on mobile devices through the App Store or on Google Play. For more information on the app, please visit www.browncounty.com/app or call 812-988-7303.
Download Brown County’s official app and Discover Brown County in a whole new way!
Roseville Visitors Association Achieves Industry Accreditation in Destination Management and Marketing
July 27, 2015
On Friday, July 17, 2015 at the Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, Roseville Visitors Association was awarded with the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), in recognition of the destination marketing organization's (DMO) commitment to industry excellence and meeting the industry standard for performance and accountability of DMOs around the world. More than 2,000 destination marketing organizations exist worldwide, and the Roseville Visitors Association is now one of only 208 that are DMAI accredited.
Since its inception in January 2007, the accreditation program requires a DMO to successfully comply with a multitude of mandatory and voluntary standards that span a variety of performance areas to gain this momentous achievement. The standards cover nearly all aspects related to the management and marketing of a DMO's including governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, destination development and research.
“DMAP accreditation requires DMOs like Roseville Visitors Association to truly evaluate and define not only their policies and procedures, but also determine their guiding principles and solidify their importance to their communities in all they do,” said Jack Wert, DMAP Board Chair.
"Getting the accreditation is great news. It is a testament to the hard work, creativity, and professionalism of the RVA staff and leadership,” stated Roseville Mayor Dan Roe. “Being an RVA board member in addition to being Mayor, I am especially proud that our relatively small organization stands out among its peers."
Roseville Visitors Association join the ranks of DMOs who have obtained DMAP recognition that demonstrate compliance across 16 disciplines, composed of 53 mandatory standards and is globally recognized by the destination marketing industry as the highest achievement in destination excellence.
“We were thrilled to receive accreditation,” stated Julie Wearn, CEO of the Roseville Visitors Association. “Going through the process was intensive but gratifying to see we’re already operating under many of the key performance measurements and in some cases only needed to update our policies and procedures to meet the current standards.”
Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) protects and advances the success of destination marketing worldwide. For more information, visit www.destinationmarketing.org.
Local Recieves Certified Destination Management Executive Designation
July 23, 2015
Shannon Winters, Finance Manager at the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission, has earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, a program that focuses on vision, leadership, productivity and the implementation of business strategies. Winters is the first Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau employee to receive this designation.
"We’re proud of Shannon’s continued accomplishments in the destination marketing industry," says Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission. "The knowledge Shannon has acquired through this program will further strengthen her leadership skills and our organization."
Winters has been with the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau for three and a half years. She was one of just forty-seven professionals honored at the Destination Marketing Association International’s annual convention this month. In addition to her CDME designation, she also serves on the finance committee for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa.
Tiffany Tauscheck, Former Vice President of Marketing and Development, now Chief Communications Officer at the Greater Des Moines Partnership also received the CDME designation.
CDME designation is the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination marketing industry. Over the course of 22 years, more than 400 students have participated in the CDME program, with more than 320 graduates. The program is offered through Destination Marketing Association International, a resource that provides educational enrichment, networking opportunities and travel marketing benefits to more than 600 destination marketing organizations across the world.
For more information visit: destinationmarketing.org
Indianapolis to Host U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in 2016
July 22, 2015
The United States Conference of Mayors has selected Indianapolis to host its 84th Annual Meeting in 2016, a four-day convergence of mayors from across the country to discuss the growth and economic development of our nation’s cities, share ideas and information related to urban policy, and engage in leadership development.
"Indianapolis has shown repeatedly that this is a great place to hold major events and conferences,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Next year, our city will have the opportunity to show off our world-renowned attractions and Hoosier Hospitality to leaders from across the United States, while showcasing our work to make Indianapolis competitive in the 21st Century."
During the meeting, standing committees will recommend policy positions on topics such as transportation, education, workforce development, community policing, energy, and more. Mayors will discuss and vote on these policy resolutions, and those adopted will be forwarded to the President of the United States and Congress in hopes of shaping federal legislation to meet urban needs. Additionally, task forces will examine current issues such as civic innovation, hunger and homelessness, and brownfields.
"We are pleased that the 84th Annual Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors will be held in Indianapolis next year," said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. "It is significant that during a time when many Americans will be focused on the future of the country, the nation's mayors will gather in the heartland to debate important policy issues impacting people in cities and their metropolitan areas. We look forward to experiencing the highlights of all that Indianapolis has to offer and being showered with Hoosier Hospitality."
The 2015 Annual Meeting was held in San Francisco June 19-22.
“The value of hosting the U.S. Conference of Mayors goes well beyond the $1 million of economic impact of the meeting itself,” said Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of Visit Indy. “It will bring civic and thought leaders to Indy which is an opportunity for our city to learn from others’ successes and exchange ideas. Mayor Ballard played a pivotal role in bringing the conference to Indy and we are grateful for his leadership.”
All business sessions are open to credentialed press, and all press must register to attend in advance or on site.
CVB Offers Training for Ambassador Program
July 17, 2015 | Courtesy Leavenworth Times
The Leavenworth Convention and Visitors Bureau will be offering free training sessions for people interested in volunteering in the organization's Ambassador Program.
Ambassadors assist the CVB with promoting the Leavenworth community at events, online or during group tour visits.
Training sessions are scheduled from noon-1 p.m. Aug. 26 and from 2-3 p.m. Aug. 30 at Leavenworth City Hall, 100 N. Fifth St.
People can register online at visitleavenworthks.com/ambassadors.
For more information, contact CVB Manager Tammie Ferguson at (913) 682-4113.