Visit Fort Worth expands vision at annual meeting
WHO: Visit Fort Worth, the city’s the official destination marketing organization. Mayor Betsy Price accepted the 2020 Hospitality Award for her contributions marketing Fort Worth as a leading tourism destination around the state, nation and world. Nick Snow of Heim Barbecue accepted the inaugural Beyond Award, created to recognize people who work behind the scenes or directly with customers to create a special visitor experience. Keynote speaker and Fort Worth native T Bone Burnett talked about the importance of creativity in building community.
WHO WAS THAT AGAIN? Amon G. Carter? Actually, it was actor Kelvin Kilks, who plays the late Fort Worth booster-extradinaire, in Dave Leiber’s play, Amon!
HOW MANY?: About 800 people attended the annual meeting on Friday. The event’s title sponsors were Fine Line Group, Henry S. Miller and Sundance Square. Pinnacle Bank was the presenting sponsor.
WHAT: Annual meeting
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 14
WHERE: Omni Hotel
Visit Fort Worth unveiled a hip-hop tourism video, a diversity and inclusion marketing campaign and other initiatives to boost the city’s visitor economy at its seventh annual meeting.
The plan calls for adding more physical spaces and experiences for visitors and convention-goers and supplying resources to creatives and artists who create unique vibes for the city.
“A vibe that attracts visitors,” said Bob Jameson, Visit Fort Worth president and CEO. “Visitors are looking for community cities that have an energy about them. Nothing puts forth that energy other than the active creation.”
According to figures from Visit Fort Worth, the tourism industry fetches about $2.6 billion annually in economic impact to Fort Worth.
About 24,1000 workers are directly employed by the city’s tourism industry, which anticipates greeting 9.4 million out-of-town visitors this year, a 3.2% increase from last year – small, yet significant increment, nonetheless.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: A new video, “Take Me Home,” features music and lyrics by Lou CharLe$, along with scenes from 30 locations and 130 extras showcasing Fort Worth as a vibrant visitor destination. The video also features local musician Grady Spencer, the star of Visit Fort Worth’s “Things To Do” video released in 2017. “Take Me Home” is the centerpiece of a new marketing campaign inviting visitors to Discover the Modern West, from renovations in the Stockyards National Historic District to the nightlife of Sundance Square in downtown.
A big feature of the campaign is a new web page “Discover Diverse Fort Worth,” a portal to blogs, videos and listings for events, restaurants and attractions from among the city’s rich fabric of cultural diversity.
EVEN MORE TO WATCH FOR: Visit Fort Worth is spearheading action on a 10-year, community-wide Destination Master Plan to increase the city’s visibility and economy through tourism. The nonprofit organization announced the following at the annual meeting:
• The Convention Center Design Committee has started meeting to move forward on expansion of the city’s main meeting facility. an expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center is on the pipeline. The project is expected to increase exhibit space by 53,000 square feet, meeting room spaces by 23,000 square feet and add about 400 new convention hotel rooms and 500 new underground parking spaces.
• A new Fort Worth Sports Commission has been created to attract more athletic events and facilities, especially a 100-acre soccer and multi-purpose outdoor fields for youth.
• Amplify 817, the Fort Worth Public Library’s new online playlist for local music. Amplify 817 is the exclusive home for Lou CharLe$’ song “Take Me Home.”
• Soul of DFW: Fort Worth Edition is a new tour featuring Fort Worth’s African American community, focused on culinary experiences and history.
QUOTE: “Fort Worth has always captured the imagination,” said Mitch Whitten, executive vice president at Visit Fort Worth. “A fort became a city. Cattle drives gave way to trains, plane and maybe even flying cars. Art has always been welcomed on the frontier. But, today it’s not just for cowboys. Today, we welcome visitors to discover the modern west.”
– Neetish Basnet, FWBP Staff