Latest CVB/Chamber News...
Brad Van Dommelen of Traverse City Tourism named "CVB Star of the Year"
March 27, 2015
Brad Van Dommelen, president/CEO of Traverse City Tourism, has been named a “CVB Star of the Year” by the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association.
The award was announced March 23 in Grand Rapids at the association’s “Stars of the Industry” awards dinner, part of the annual Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
Van Dommelen was cited by the awards committee for his “industry knowledge, determination, attitude and imagination” in bringing Traverse City to the attention of new national and international markets, as well as his leadership at the state level, including his work to bring about a change in Michigan law allowing destination marketing organizations to increase their tourism promotion funding to further benefit their communities and the state.
Organized in 1981 as the Traverse City Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Traverse City Tourism is the area’s official destination marketing organization. Its focused mission is to stimulate economic growth by attracting convention business and developing leisure tourism.
Van Dommelen was among 14 awardees recognized at the annual banquet, including hotel and tourism workers from Detroit, Lansing, South Haven, Grand Rapids, Dearborn, Adrian, East Lansing, Harbor Springs, Gaylord, Port Huron and Frankenmuth.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Selects Cincinnati USA for 2017 International Leadership Conference
March 24, 2105
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that the region has been selected to host the 2017 International Leadership Conference of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Omega Psi Phi is one of the nine largest and most prestigious African American fraternal organizations in the world, often referred to as the “Divine Nine.”
Planned for August 2-5, 2017, the Leadership Conference is expected to bring approximately 1,500 room nights and 1,000 attendees to Cincinnati USA, with an estimated economic impact of nearly $450,000. The International Leadership Conference is the biannual national leadership conference for the fraternity, and will attract prominent African American men from around the United States. The event has recently been held in Kansas City, Jacksonville, New Orleans, and Birmingham.
More than 60 years have passed since Cincinnati last hosted a national meeting of one of the “Divine Nine” composed of fraternities and sororities. The announcement is expected to draw increased attention to Cincinnati as a destination for other high-profile multicultural meetings and events.
“The Divine Nine organizations represent some of the most renowned, high impact groups in the multicultural market, so being chosen to host Omega Psi Phi Fraternity is not only an honor, but also an extremely important step for Cincinnati’s development,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Brother Christopher K. Welch, the 26th Fourth District Representative (Chief Operations Officer for Ohio and West Virginia) is pleased by the fraternity’s decision to hold the international event in Cincinnati, stating "There is a very strong and active graduate chapter presence in Cincinnati, and the brothers of Beta Iota Chapter will work hard to see that the meeting is a success for all stakeholders. I look forward to seeing the brothers enjoying a great time in Cincinnati. The city has the infrastructure to support an international meeting of this type and a thriving economy that is well situated to entertain the brothers who visit Cincinnati during the 2017 meeting.”
Read the full release here.
Lights, Camera...Flying Technology!
Thousands of Backstage Experts Gather at USITT’s 55th Annual Conference & Stage Expo
March 12, 2015
Behind-the-scenes production professionals, including architects, set designers, costumers and technicians from theatres, universities and cruise lines will convene in Cincinnati March 18-21 for the 55th United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Annual Conference & Stage Expo.
The conference will include informational sessions and demonstrations from high-profile production companies like Cirque du Soleil and Disney Imagineering, as well as a live demo of the latest flying effect technology used in NBC’s live production of Peter Pan!
“Theatre technology has advanced to incredible new heights in recent years,” said David Grindle, USITT Executive Director. “Between our production professionals in attendance and the technology at our Stage Expo, our event showcases the magic behind a performance. Cincinnati’s rich legacy of performing arts, combined with the compact downtown, makes it an ideal location for us.”
The 4-day event is expected to attract more than 5,000 professionals to the city, bringing nearly $1.6 million in economic impact to the local economy. Event programming and Stage Expo will be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center, with contracted room blocks at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, Millennium Hotel Cincinnati, Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown, and the Westin Hotel. The USITT Annual Conference & Expo is returning to Cincinnati for the first time since 2009.
For information about the 2015 Annual Conference & Stage Expo, as well as a detailed list of scheduled events, visit www.usittshow.com.
Read the full release here courtesy the Cincinnati USA CVB.
Fort Wayne, Embassy Theatre to Host 2015 North American Brass Band Championships
March 11, 2015
The best brass bands in all the land will compete in the 2015 North American Brass Band Championships in Fort Wayne from March 13-14.
The two-day contest welcomes 28 brass bands and over 900 musicians from across the United States and Canada. Bands will compete in six sections (classes) for a chance to take home championship honors. Performances will be held at the Embassy Theatre and Auer Auditorium.
The general public is invited to attend both championship days. Tickets are $25 for two-day adults; $15 for two-day seniors; and $10 for two-day teachers and students.
The championships were brought to Fort Wayne by Visit Fort Wayne and the Old Crown Brass Band, who will also compete in the open section on Friday evening.
For more information on the 2015 North American Brass Band Championships, contact Dave Jones, Old Crown Brass Band member at (260) 710-2908, or find a full list of bands and performance schedule here.
How Does Tourism Impact Q-C Lives?
by Joe Taylor, president and CEO of the Quad Cities CVB for QCOnline.com
March 10, 2015
As governments at all levels consider tough decision and look to reductions in investments in destination marketing, let’s examine how tourism improves all of our lives. How?
By providing jobs
The US Travel Association County by County report for 2013 shows that visitors spent over $800 million in Scott and Rock Island Counties and that spending generated 7,000 jobs in our hotels, restaurants, malls, convenience stores, attractions and more. The Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau was one of several partners that collaborated to finalize the Americans for the Arts Economic Impact Study for the region. Nearly 2,000 Quad-Citians make their livelihood from our region’s arts and culture.
Read the full article at QCOnline.com.
CVB Annual Meeting Unveils Strong 2014 Results
March 9, 2015
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) held its 2015 Annual Meeting today at the Duke Energy Convention Center in front of more than 600 business professionals, civic leaders and members of the regional hospitality industry.
Themed “The MVP Destination: Movement. Vision. Passion.,” the 2015 Annual Meeting highlighted the past year’s strong regional collaboration, which drove destination growth and brought new business, visitors and increased economic impact to Cincinnati USA.
Discussion centered around high-profile upcoming events, including the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and 2016 NAACP Annual Convention, as well as new initiatives being launched by the CVB in 2015, and the record-setting number of future room night leads generated in 2014. The meeting also recognized the work of pivotal industry partners and the 2014 Spirit Award winners.
Read the full release here.
Greater Lansing CVB Reports Successful Year and Honors 2014 Community Champions
The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB) held its annual meeting on March 3, 2015, and announced both good news for the local economy and recognized numerous individuals for helping to foster meetings and events within the Capital Region.
The GLCVB announced Mid-Michigan saw continued growth in 2014 with a 1.39% increase in area lodging occupancy, posting a rate of 58.4%, up from 57.9% in 2014, according to Smith Travel Research (STR) data. The increase in 2014 occupancy is particularly noteworthy because in 2014, Greater Lansing experienced a 5.42% increase in Average Daily Rate (ADR) for hotel rooms throughout the region, marking significant growth in local ADR for the second consecutive year.
Additionally, Jack Schripsema, President and CEO of the GLCVB announced the 2014 class of Greater Lansing Community Champions. The Community Champion program is intended to appeal to the civic pride of local residents by providing well-deserved recognition to the individual and their organization for attracting and hosting events in the region.
Those recognized as 2014 Community Champions are; Kylie Doebler and Hannah Feig with Instagrammers Lansing, Brian Bennett with Flipped Learning Network, Shelly Bugg and Sue Selke with the U.S. Tennis Association, Bruce Haskell with the National Association of College and University Food Services, Barbara Roberts Mason with Sister Cities International, Mark McElwee with USA Curling, Barb Doyal with the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church, Desmond Ferguson for Moneyball, Renee Freeman for the Shop Michigan Expo and Al Slamer with the Michigan High School Football Association.
The Greater Lansing Sports Authority also had an awards presentation at the event, recognizing Julie and Kevin Mullin with Hope Sports Complex as Sports Partner of the Year and Laurel Winkel as Sports Volunteer of the Year.
“Our hope for this program is that it will shed light onto the significant efforts being made by community stakeholders to keep their hometown of Greater Lansing in the forefront as a host-city for key meetings and events throughout the year,” said Jack Schripsema, President and CEO of the GLCVB.
More details on the award winners can be found by visiting www.lansing.org.
New CVB Head Wants Community to Embrace Tourism
by Jessica Holdman, The Bismarck Tribune
Not only does Sheri Grossman want to sell Bismarck to visitors, she wants to sell Bismarck on visitors.
Grossman has 1,000 new hotel rooms and a 50,000-square-foot event center expansion to help attract tourism to the area in her new role in leading the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says she hopes, by also increasing community relations, residents will realize a return on their investment.
"Years ago, you had to pull them in from the aisles," Grossman said of event planners.
Now, because of national oil headlines, North Dakota is grabbing the attention of those who plan conventions and they're wondering what else the state has to offer.
Grossman said many may not realize that tourism is the third-largest industry statewide and it can have an impact on communities.
In 2014, 400 meetings were held in Bismarck-Mandan, with 190,000 attendees. Those attendees spent $27.6 million at local hotels and restaurants. Forty percent of that, $11.1 million, is spent by international, national and regional visitors, according to Grossman.
That lodging and sales tax goes back into making improvements in local communities.
"I'm very passionate about the community and the industry," said Grossman, adding that she hopes having the CVB more involved in the community will make others passionate as well.
Read the full story here.
Hoosier Hospitality at the Heart of the Indianapolis International Airport Being Named Best Airport for the Fourth Year
People who travel through the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) year-round have helped the community’s airport win recognition as the best airport in North America for the fourth year and IND is honored by their vote of support. Airports Council International (ACI) announced that IND has won top airport again, in 2014, as part of its prestigious annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards for performance excellence. ACI also recognized IND as the best airport in North America in 2013, 2012 and 2010.
The annual ACI ASQ Survey captures air travelers’ appraisals of service at more than 300 airports worldwide. They vote on qualities such as the courteousness of airport staff, the comfort of waiting areas, cleanliness and general ambience. The ASQ Survey covers 34 key service areas and it is the industry’s most comprehensive measure of customer service, based on the overall satisfaction of passengers’ airport experience.
“At the Indianapolis International Airport, it is crucial that we focus on meeting and exceeding passenger expectations in every way and receiving this award for the fourth time only solidifies that we are doing just that,” said Michael Wells, IAA board president. “I have to thank our dedicated employees and business partners for working tirelessly to help us reach this incredible honor.”
“This award is a reflection of the people who work here. They are the heart of the Indianapolis International Airport,” says IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez. “There may be larger terminals but the secret formula for IND is not the facility, not the bricks and mortar. It’s Hoosiers, the Hoosier work ethic and Hoosier hospitality. We also have a great community of people in Central Indiana who fly in and out of our airport and they convey a kindness that travelers, worldwide, notice.”
Courtesy Visit Indy.
Meet Minneapolis Award Recipients and New Board Members Announced at Annual Meeting
Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, announced the recipients of their annual awards and the incoming Board of Directors members at the 2015 Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With more than 460 partners, elected officials and other guests in attendance, Meet Minneapolis officials reflected on the hospitality successes of the past year – and welcomed a keynote address by John Sweeney, owner of Brave New Workshop.
“Well, we did it. 2014 was amazing,” Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant told the attendees. “We declared 2014 to be THE year. And it was. The Best. Year. Ever.”
2014 was a record-breaking year, from hotel occupancy to hospitality jobs. Meet Minneapolis exceeded their 2014 goals from revenue earned to future room nights booked. Details were released previously: www.minneapolis.org/article/2014-minneapolis-most-successful-year-hospitality.
Meet Minneapolis Board of Directors
Meet Minneapolis announced the election of 12 new members to its Board of Directors. New members include Julie “J.J.” Haywood (Pizza Luce), Matt Hoy (Minnesota Twins), Jeannie Joas (J.B. Hudson Jewelers), Peter Killen (Cara Irish Pubs), Steve Lindburg (Radisson Blu Minneapolis), Tim Murray (Murray’s Restaurant), Dan O’Brien (University of Minnesota), Eric Pehle (Weber Shandwick), Maya Santamaria (Santamaria Broadcasting), Dave Schad (Fleishmann – Hillard), Saed Wadi (Saffron Restaurant) and Kevin Warren (Minnesota Vikings).
The board’s executive committee consists of President & CEO Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis; Chair Rob Moor, Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx; Vice Chair John Luke, Hilton Minneapolis; Treasurer: Robert Lux, Alatus L-L-C; Secretary Susan Adams Loyd, Clear Channel Outdoor; and Immediate Past President Peter Mihajlov, Parasole Restaurant Holdings.
Minneapolis Hospitality Industry Awards
Meet Minneapolis announced the Annual Meeting award recipients for their outstanding efforts within the Minneapolis hospitality industry:
Additionally, Meet Minneapolis recognizes a hospitality industry professional in Minneapolis once per quarter as the Hospitality Hero; previously honored for first-third quarters were Barista Frank Goldman, Hyatt Regency Minneapolis; Event Coordinator Ellen Kosmoski, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; and Bell Captain Thomas Moore, Marriott City Center. Announcing the final fourth quarter 2014 recipient at the annual meeting, Meet Minneapolis recognized Becky Harris, co-owner, Event Lab.
Becky worked closely with the Meet Minneapolis event planning team during Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress in 2014. For more than a year, she worked with Meet Minneapolis to secure permits and coordinate partners and vendors in order to make Minneapolis shine in the spotlight.