By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
The SPI Convention and Visitors Advisory Board (CVA) met last week for their regular monthly meeting. The Convention Centre renovation is nearly 60 percent complete, but currently, staff is without a director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). With stringent requirements, the City has received 54 applicants for the position of CVB director and is processing the applications to select a pool of potential candidates. Overall for the fiscal year, sales are down by 6,000 rooms, however, there have been many improvements in the sales department, and almost all weekends through December are booked.
On Tuesday, May 5 at the Convention Centre, Denise Arnold, director of sales for the CVB, will meet with a subcommittee of lodging partners on the Island to discuss sales improvements with a focus on weekday business and ways to work together.
Because of all the changes in staff at the CVB, Director Denise Arnold had an extra $100,000 in the marketing budget, which the board agreed to allocate to their outsource marketing budget. In an attempt to get Memorial Day back and kick off the season earlier than in recent years, they have agreed to support a new event called Fiesta Padre, which will take place Memorial Day weekend. The event is sponsored by the Pearl Hotel and will feature a sand sculpture of the Alamo, in addition to other activities. The CVA plans to use $25,000 in the Machete Advertising budget to promote the event as well as upcoming firework shows. The board also approved $35,000 for tourism and marketing studies, including a quantitative online survey at a cost of $25,000 and a qualitative long-term study with University of Texas Pan American at a cost of $10,000.
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