Latest CVB/Chamber News & Views...
Minnesota Selected to Host NCAA® Men's Final Four® in 2019
The National Collegiate Athletic Association® (NCAA) announced today that Minnesota was selected to host the Men’s Final Four® in 2019. The March/April 2019 tournament will be held in the new Minnesota Stadium, which is set to open in 2016. The Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee delivered the successful presentation to a NCAA committee in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Nov. 11. The central theme was “Winning Happens Here.”
“We are thrilled to bring the NCAA Men’s Final Four back to Minnesota,” said David Mortenson, president of Mortenson Construction and bid committee co-chair. “We were successful in impressing upon the committee our three main messages of our connected, easily accessible city, world-class venues and committed community.”
“Prior to breaking ground for our new multi-purpose stadium, the NCAA selected Minnesota to submit a bid for the Men’s Final Four,” said Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. “The new stadium and adjacent two-block park that is being developed are incredible assets that will offer amazing fan experiences. The Men’s Final Four is one of the most prestigious events in the country, and we are proud to have it in Minnesota.”
Minneapolis’ new and existing hospitality infrastructure, such as transportation assets, skyway system, hotels and other exceptional venues like the Minneapolis Convention Center, were also important to the bid success.
“Our key message of offering the NCAA a compact, urban experience for this premiere event clearly resonated with the decision makers,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. “Additionally, the support of our Meet Minneapolis team in working with our tourism and hospitality partners helped us exceed expectations on this bid. We are honored and humbled to be able to renew our Men’s Final Four partnership with the NCAA.”
Potential Economic Impact of the Tournament
The Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee is working to assess the potential economic impact the tournament could have in Minnesota. The Final Four tournament brings a large economic impact to the host community. Reviewing the economic impact on other host communities over the last four years, the estimates are between $70 million to $200 million. Atlanta Convention and Business Bureau reported an estimated $70 million impact in 2013. New Orleans projected an impact of $135 million in 2012 and Dallas projected an impact of $275 million in 2014. Multiple events associated with the tournament are held throughout the region.
Click here for the full release and more information.
Detroit Emerges from Bankruptcy with Confidence in the Future
Detroit’s recent emergence from bankruptcy is creating a healthy, vibrant city poised to host more tourism and conventions than any time in decades, said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB).
“We are watching history in the making as Downtown Detroit becomes the great city it was decades ago--shedding its debt, attracting major investors and bringing in the amenities and services that draw new residents and visitors,” he said. “This is a city now expected to grow faster than the U.S. gross domestic product.”
Detroit’s transformation has created international visitor interest and changed the conversation about the city, said Alexander. “While there’s much work targeted now for the neighborhoods, progress has been swift downtown. The difficult days of marketing the destination as a convention city while national news stories focused only on corruption, blight and crime rates, are in the rear view mirror.”
The key is convincing meeting planners that Detroit has top notch facilities to host groups, starting with the Cobo Convention Center, Alexander said. In addition to his DMCVB role, he is also chairman of the board of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, which is spearheading a $279 million transformation of the center expected to be complete early next year.
Bill Bohde, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the DMCVB, echoed that downtown is now ready and able to host marquee conventions and events. In addition to the Cobo renovation, two new boutique hotels are under construction, and a new hotel directly across from the convention center opened last year, adding to an inventory of 5,000 luxury hotel rooms. The city’s largest convention hotel—the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center—is undergoing a $30 million renovation of its guest and meeting rooms.
Bohde said the DMCVB is developing a strategic plan to communicate the positive change and what the city and region now have to offer convention delegates and other visitors,” The convention sales staff have been redeployed and expanded over the past year to handle bookings that were already outpacing previous years. Convention bookings are projected to increase 140 percent from 2014 to 2021. Five major groups booked citywide conventions last year, growing to 14 major bookings this year in Detroit, and 16 already signed contracts for next year.
To read the full release and to see the list of conventions, click here.
Undying Words: Lincoln 1858-1865 Exhibit Kick’s-Off Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum’s 10th Anniversary
Undying Words: Lincoln 1858-1865, a new exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum will open on Nov. 22, 2014. The exhibit will run through 2015.
The exhibit is mounted in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum and explores Lincoln’s changing views through five key speeches made between 1858-1865: his “House Divided” speech of 1858; his First Inaugural Address in 1861; the 1863 Gettysburg Address; his 1865 Second Inaugural and his final speech, given just three days before his assassination. The exhibit will contain approximately 120 original objects including the bloody gloves Lincoln carried when he was assassinated, the bed where he died, condolence letters, and other personal objects, speeches, documents and art works.
In addition to the museum’s 10th anniversary, the exhibit will also commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s end and Lincoln’s death. It is presented with the assistance of Archer Daniels Midland Co.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened in April 2005. Other commemorative and anniversary events planned for 2015 include a new theatre presentation at the museum titled “The Battle Hymn Story,” special summer performances at Union Square Park, new ways to explore the museum’s exhibits through technology and more. For more information about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s anniversary events, visit TenYearsLincoln.com.
Meeting and group tour planners can take advantage of this new exhibit in Springfield by scheduling tours of the presidential museum through the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. The presidential museum complex in Springfield is also a popular off-site venue for evening receptions and dinners.
For more information about the Lincoln experience in Springfield contact the Springfield CVB at 800-545-7300 or visit us online at www.visitspringfieldillinois.com.
Cincinnati USA Welcomes National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners for 2014 Annual Conference November 12-15
Cincinnati USA will host more than 150 influential meeting and event planners and industry professionals this week for the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners’ 2014 Annual Conference.
The National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), is a non-profit organization dedicated primarily to the training needs of African-American meeting planners. The 2014 Annual Conference marks the first time the NCBMP has ever met in Cincinnati. The more than 150 attendees represent numerous business, civil rights, church and fraternal organizations across the country and have the potential to bring future meetings totaling more than 110,000 room nights and approximately $31.8 million in economic impact to the region.
"Our organization strives to make every one of our meetings both educational and enjoyable for our attendees, and the host location plays a big role in the event's success," said Kevin Johnson, president of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners. "Cincinnati's compact downtown area and diversity of unique venue options made it an easy choice. I'm looking forward to a very productive and enjoyable conference."
The NCBMP 2014 Annual Conference attendees will stay primarily at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, with attendees expected to generate more than $350,000 in direct visitor spending while visiting.
"Cincinnati USA has now hosted or booked 15 of the top 25 multicultural conventions in the country, and the Coalition choosing to hold their meeting here is further evidence of the strength of our destination for these events," said Dan Lincoln, president & CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). "On behalf of the entire regional hospitality community, I am thrilled to welcome the Coalition's attendees and leaders to Cincinnati to experience the energy and excitement of our region.”
For more information on the NCBMP and the 2014 Annual Conference, click here.
Cincinnati Welcomes Delegation from International Council of Museums; Readies Bid to Host 2019 General Conference
Every three years, more than 3,000 museum experts and professionals representing more than 100 nationalities gather for the General Conference of the International Council of Museums. This week, Cincinnati welcomed a delegation from the United States National Committee (ICOM-US) to plan a formal bid to host the 25th General Conference in 2019.
Cincinnati was presented as the U.S. host city for the bid at ICOM-US’ board meeting in Seattle, Washington earlier this year. If selected, Cincinnati would be just the second United States host city for the General Conference and the first since New York in 1965. The 2013 event was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the 2016 conference is planned for Milan, Italy. The event would bring more than 3,000 attendees, using 13,000 hotel room nights and delivering $3.8 million in economic impact.
Board leaders from ICOM-US arrived in Cincinnati last weekend and joined Douglass McDonald, a fellow ICOM-US board member and president and CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center. This group included: Elizabeth Duggal, Deputy Director, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden; Kathy Dwyer Southern, Professor- George Washington University Museum Studies Program; Diana Pardue, Director, Museum Services Division, Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Immigration Museum; and William U. Eiland, Director, Georgia Museum of Art.
“It has been a thrill to host our friends from the U.S. National Committee, and we’re so honored that Cincinnati has been selected by ICOM-US as the U.S. bid city for 2019,” said McDonald. “Cincinnati has cultivated one of the world’s great arts and culture communities, and this process will celebrate our history in the arts and the extraordinary organizations and individuals who continue to shape it.”
“We’re excited for this new opportunity to host another major international conference,” added Dan Lincoln of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This event has previously been held in places like Paris, Vienna and Moscow, and for 2019 we’ll be competing with cities in Asia and South America. We know our credentials as a world-class arts destination will measure up and our track record of successfully hosting high-profile events is second to none."
Read more from CincyUSA.
Positively Cleveland Announces Name Change
Positively Cleveland, the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Greater Cleveland, announced today that it is changing its name to Destination Cleveland, effective immediately. The CVB’s Executive Board chose the name Destination Cleveland to better reflect the work the organization does to showcase Cleveland as a destination for leisure and business travel. The need for a new name surfaced during the two years of research that resulted in the organization’s destination brand launch earlier this year.
“Our job, first and foremost, is to position Cleveland as an exciting, vibrant destination for people who travel here from around the world, and for those who live here, as well,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO, Destination Cleveland. “Our new name, Destination Cleveland, perfectly describes our daily mission – and that’s to increase travel and tourism in Northeast Ohio.”
The name change also reflects the evolution of the organization’s business model, which now works in close partnership with the community to increase the economic impact of travel and tourism. The CVB adopted a new sales process, working with sales teams at the new Cleveland Convention Center, the I-X Center and local hotel community. The CVB also created a Destination Development and Community Affairs department dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and reinforcing the destination brand. In addition, the CVB’s marketing team now focuses all its efforts on promoting the destination brand for Northeast Ohio.
“The work we do as Destination Cleveland will not fundamentally change from what we’ve accomplished as Positively Cleveland,” said Gilbert. “We’re proud of what we’ve done, but our best work is still ahead of us and we will continue to offer world-class service and a world-class experience to our visitors, whether they’re here on vacation or for business.”
The organization’s new name will appear on its marketing materials immediately. Destination Cleveland’s website will remain thisiscleveland.com and updates to replace Positively Cleveland with the new name will be made throughout the site this week. All social media handles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest will remain unchanged.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland will continue to serve as the legal name of the organization, but will conduct business under Destination Cleveland.
Educational Testing Service Brings 2,000 Educators to Cincinnati USA for 6th Consecutive Year in Region