Visit Glendale hosted its Annual Meeting & Recognition Breakfast today at the Thunderbird Executive Inn & Conference Center.
The ‘travel around the world’ theme was apropos, as the Visit Glendale team shared soaring accomplishments from the past year, as well as exciting new horizons in store for Glendale and the West Valley in the future.
• Hotels: A 5.4 percent increase in occupancy; 12.1 percent increase in the average daily rate; 18.1 percent increase in revenue per available room; gross hotel room sales: 21 percent increase.
• National Sales numbers: seven meeting planner visits and site inspections; nine travel/trade sales missions and trade shows attended with more than 120 appointments; 10 workshops to US-based receptives; 9,000 room nights generated.
• 95 percent membership renewal rate
• Local earned media for CVB promotions include 110 stories generated, 4.2 million audience impressions and $288,000 in publicity value.
• Visit Glendale was named Sports Event Magazine Annual Sports Planners and Places to Watch in the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
• Visit Glendale received the 2016 Governor’s Tourism Award for Advertising Campaign for Spring Training.
The event’s speakers included Dawn Rogers, executive director and CEO of the 2017 Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee, who presented the latest information on Arizona’s next major sporting event, the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April 2017
Additional speakers included Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism; and Mike Vaught, vice president of Athletics for Grand Canyon University.
The day’s celebration continued with the presentation of the annual West Valley Tourism Awards. The winners are:
• West Valley Tourism Champion: (An individual, group or business that drives tourism to the West Valley through product development, infrastructure growth or marketing and promotion strategies) The University of Phoenix Stadium - The University of Phoenix Stadium opened in 2006.
The primary tenants in the stadium include the Arizona Cardinals and the annual Fiesta Bowl. However, the 63,000-plus seats in the venue are regularly filled with all types of events, from Super Bowls to Wrestlemania, and all eyes will be on the stadium for the Final Four in April. The hard work of the dedicated staff has made the stadium a world-class destination which has forever changed the face of tourism in Arizona.
• West Valley Community Partnership Award: (An individual, group or business that makes a difference in our community by giving back through unique partnerships and outreach to local, regional and global charitable causes) The Soroptimist International Of The Kachinas.
A part of the West Valley community since 1980, the Soroptimist International Of The Kachinas is a volunteer service organization of business professionals. They work to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.
Almost 85,000 Soroptimists in 132 countries contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls. A program that is near and dear to the members is the Operation Women Warriors service project. Now in its sixth year, the members package and send over 200 care packages every spring to women stationed overseas.
• Spirit of the West Valley: (An individual, group or business that embodies the incomparable spirit and culture of the West Valley) The Glendale Farmers Market - This new event sprouted in Downtown Glendale last April, with the goal to bring fresh, local produce and handmade goods to the area.
It was the vision and dedication of Kathy Vanderworp and her team to create a community gathering place in Historic Downtown Glendale, while supporting local farmers, small businesses and community-based organizations. The purpose of the market is to provide a place for healthy, nutritious and sustainable foods systems for residents throughout the Valley.
Now beginning its second season, the market is quickly becoming a must see for local residents and visitors.
Sponsors for the event include: Glendale Ambassadors; Thunderbird Executive Inn and Conference Center; Key 360 Media; Madden Media; University of Phoenix Stadium, Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium and Safari Park; Execucar; Super Shuttle; and the Arizona Broadway Theatre.
The Visit Glendale Annual Meeting will be broadcast on Glendale 11 in its entirety, as well as on the city’s YouTube channel and www.VisitGlendale.com. For information, call 623-930-4500 or log on to www.VisitGlendale.com.
Kimberly Larson is the Marketing/Communications Manager for the city of Glendale Public Facilities, Recreation and Special Events