Pulse E-Newsletter November 2012
Welcome...to the November issue of Pulse, the official newsletter of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. If you have questions, or would like to be included in the December edition of Pulse, please contact Ryan Smith at RSMITH@VISITRALEIGH.COM
In this issue...
New Release | Record Collections | Saluting Our Veterans | Soccer Frenzy | Housekeeping |
Quarterly Marketing Update Meeting | A Great START
The newest edition of the Official Visitors Guide to Raleigh, Cary and Wake County (OVG) has hit the shelves! Readers will enjoy fresh editorial written by Elliot Acosta (eatRaleighblog.com), Valerie Marino (trianglemusicblog.com) and Jason Frye, an award-winning travel writer. Stories throughout the guide highlight Greater Raleigh's Can't Miss List in all of the Destination I.D. categories. New to the guide is a four-page, pull-out map highlighting 75 can't miss attractions in Greater Raleigh and a map of Wake County. If you aren't familiar with this award-winning, annual publication, the OVG is the premier resource for visitors planning a trip to the Raleigh area and features 66 pages of current information in an easy-to-read magazine format with comprehensive information on local attractions, cultural opportunities, shopping areas, sports and recreation options, as well as 140+ Greater Raleigh hotel accommodations. Pick yours up at North Carolina Welcome Centers, area hotels, attractions, the Greater Raleigh Visitor Information Center, RDU International Airport or by calling or emailing the Bureau.
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It was a great month for hospitality tax collections in September. Wake County experienced record-breaking lodging tax collections in September with $1,515,732 collected, up 13.5 percent over September 2011. Collections for the year are up 7.1 percent over the previous year at $12,633,879. The prepared food & beverage tax collections also saw record collections with $1,706,039 collected, up 9.4 percent over September 2011. Prepared food and beverage collections for the year are up 9.4 percent over the previous year at $15,136,100.
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According to The Hill newspaper, members of Congress are having advanced discussions to quickly pass a bill that would reform the Postal Service, due to its serious financial issues. However, the amendment that would allow federal agencies to attend only one association meeting per year and other onerous requirements (SA 2060) is contained in S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Reform Act, which was passed by the Senate in April. If Congress rushes to pass postal reform by the end of the year, they could simply pass the amendment without removing this provision. Act today to prevent Congress from simply including this amendment (SA 2060) either intentionally or unintentionally during the postal reform negotiations. (See the language of SA 2060 here and the analysis here).
As a reminder, in April Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and John McCain (R-AZ) attached SA 2060 to S. 1789 in response to the then-breaking GSA scandal. The House did not include the amendment in its postal reform bill, and since April the association community has worked hard to educate Congress of the negative impact SA 2060 would have on our meetings and conferences.
Despite the gains we've made in educating members of Congress on the harm SA 2060 would have on our community - and the public good overall - the rushed nature of postal reform could allow the provision to pass in the waning days of the 112th Congress.
ASAE is delivering a letter to key Congressional offices today, but we need your help in spreading the word. Please use this action alert to personalize a message to members of Congress in your state or with whom you work with closely to make them aware of this amendment and the damage it could cause to so many public-private partnerships. You can also download the template here (pdf) or here (Word) to send it directly to your key Congressional allies. When sending the letter, include a personal story of your meetings or conventions that would be affected by SA 2060, and how it would hurt the public good overall.
Take action now! If you have any questions, contact the Public Policy Department at 202.626.2703 or email@example.com.
American Society of Association Executives
1575 I St. N.W., Washington, DC 20005-1103
Phone: 202.626.2703; Fax: 202.371.1673
SALUTING OUR VETERANS
There is no question that veterans are our nation's most respected heroes, and the Town of Garner, Garner Chamber of Commerce and the Garner Veterans Memorial Committee is honoring those brave men and women with the opening of the Garner Veterans Memorial, which had its official groundbreaking November 16. The memorial is an interactive space made up of quiet green spaces for reflection and large, stone pillars listing the names of men and women who fought in wars beginning with the Revolutionary War. The new memorial will become a focal point for area residents, when dedicated on Memorial Day 2013, as well as a visitor attraction. Don't forget that if your local hotel property, restaurant or attraction would like to offer special deals for Greater Raleigh's military visitors, the Bureau extends military-themed services and a special welcome to these visitors at www.visitRaleigh.com/hero. Your deal can be listed here free-of-charge.
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November in Greater Raleigh has been unofficially designated as soccer month! For five weeks, the largest youth sporting event in Triangle history is underway as 1,000 youth soccer teams from throughout the U.S. travel to Greater Raleigh for the CASL visitRaleigh.com National Soccer Series presented by Chelsea Football Club. Games will be played in eight venues throughout Wake County, along with venues in partner cities Wilson, Rocky Mount and Mebane. The National Soccer Series is expected to generate approximately 25,000 hotel room-nights and more than $7.5 million in direct visitor spending. In addition, WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary hosted the ACC Women's Soccer Championship and Southern Conference Men's Soccer Championship earlier this month, and the NCHSAA men's soccer state championships were held November 17 at Dail Soccer Stadium on the N.C. State University main campus, with all four classifications determining their state champs. This marked the third of 12 NCHSAA state championships scheduled for Raleigh this academic year. The City of Raleigh hosts more NCHSAA state championships than any other city, and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is a host partner.
Photo credit: CASL soccer: wjarrettc
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Bureau offices will be closed November 22-23 for Thanksgiving and December 24-25 and December 31 for Christmas and New Year's holidays.
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QUARTERLY MARKETING UPDATE MEETING
More than 45 members of the Wake County hospitality community attended GRCVB's Fall Marketing Update Meeting, held November 8 at the Raleigh Country Club. The meeting focused on marketing initiatives surrounding Carolina Ballet's The Nutcracker in December, the Bureau's participation in North Carolina Beer Month (April 2013) and the forthcoming launch of PIXL, or Partner Information Xchange Login. PIXL is a Web-based program through which partners can exchange information directly with Bureau staff via a secure login--including the ability to update their main organizational information, their event listings, deals and discounts, staff changes or submit photos and videos to be seen by visitors on visitRaleigh.com. Likewise, the Bureau will securely share business leads from planners and referrals from visitors directly through the site to our area partners. Special guest Ernest Dollar, the new executive director of the newly renamed City of Raleigh (COR) Museum, brought partners up-to-date on the latest at the downtown museum.
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A GREAT START
Bureau Executive Vice President and START board member Loren Gold announces that Wake Technical Community College's START Advisory Board has been named the 2011-2012 Advisory Board of the Year by the college. Wake Tech's START Program (Skills, Tasks and Results Training), developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, is a 10-week curriculum that gives students and people re-entering the work force the real-world knowledge and skills needed for a long-term career in the lodging industry. START provides hands-on training for hospitality positions in the rooms and food & beverage divisions of a lodging operation, including front desk, reservations, housekeeping, bell services, restaurant service, banquet setup and the OPERA Property Management System (used in most major hotel companies). In addition to the START Program certification, students have the opportunity to earn a variety of skills-training certificates, including ServSafe Certification for food safety standards and the nationally-recognized WorkKeys® Career Readiness Certificate (CRC). START Board of Director members include: Mark Latu, GM, Hyatt House Raleigh Durham Airport; Loren Gold, Exec VP, GRCVB; Sameer Pawa, Instructor, Wake Tech; Samuel Strickland III, Senior VP for Wake Tech's Continuing Education Services; Mike Martino, GM, Sheraton Imperial Hotel; and Greg Havenstein, Travel Procurement Specialist, Beeline Travel.
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