HSMAI Arizona - Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Arizona Chapter

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Panel of CVB Professionals Address HSMAI
A March Meeting Recap by Sarah Bailey, Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas

Jonathan Walker from the Tucson CVB, Stacey Button from the Flagstaff CVB, Milt Fort from the Mesa CVB, Mark McMinn, CMP from the Tempe CVB, John Harmon from the Phoenix CVB and Dan Tavrytzky from the Scottsdale CVB.

What is the one key trend you see in your city?
Overall extremely strong interest in our destinations. Flagstaff has seen a dramatic increase in shoulder & off-season occupancy. Mesa is adding 680 new rooms and with the addition of the new wave park, Wave Yard they are expecting great growth. Phoenix is seeing a flattening of occupancy trend relative to prior year. Scottsdale and Tucson are both experiencing shorter booking windows some as short as 30 days out.

What do we do to get business back to our destinations?
We can drive business through differentiating ourselves from other destinations, internet marketing, and really knowing our customer through market research. Getting all of your key information to your CVB's because they are working for you, but can only promote what they know. CVB's are looking to Mexico as an emerging market for meeting, convention and leisure business.

What kind of impact will the Super Bowl have on our area?
The Valley will benefit from exposure through a world class event and we need to be a true partner to make sure the event is as good as it can be. We'll see the impact from the exposure for future years and will hopefully impact the 2001 bid. The major sponsors will be targeted to bring back future business not affiliated with the Super Bowl. For the outlaying destinations pre and post trips will be created to encourage guests coming in to extend their stay and experience all Arizona has to offer. Non-hotel properties are being promoted as offsite destinations for Superbowl parties for events ranging from 10 to 5,000.

How are golf rates affecting business?
The cost of keeping greens has gone up, but we are positioned as a top golf destination. Groups are still coming and not cutting out the fun, but rather decreasing their meeting days.

In relationship to the softening real estate market how does it affect our business?
Demand for our region is still strong. We see reflecting an increase in rates because of strong RevPar and the addition of the expanded Phoenix Convention Center will bolster demand.

Any advice for our student members?
Be ready for things to change and stay current -which is advice we all can heed.

Thank you to the always gracious staff at the FireSky Resort & Spa for hosting our meeting and providing us with a wonderful breakfast, to our wonderful panel members, and to Richard Carmer with Photos Plus, for providing our photo memories.

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