Detroit, Mich. — Convention bookings and hotel room nights in metro Detroit are up for 2014, and an impressive list of major conventions are headed to the region in the coming years, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) announced this week at its 2014 Annual Membership Meeting at Cobo Center.
“The hospitality industry has gone through much adversity over the past few years, but we’ve made the turn,” said Larry Alexander, DMCVB President & CEO. “Through an economic downturn and serious financial issues in our core city, we’ve turned adversity into opportunity,” he said.
According to the DMCVB, bookings are running at 208 percent of pace for 2014 and 2015. The Bureau has confirmed 236,000 room nights for 2014 compared to 129,000 in all of 2013. Metro Detroit will host 12 multiple hotel meetings in 2014, which is more than double of what was hosted in 2013.
In 2013, metro Detroit also set an all-time record in the number of rooms occupied in the history of the region. For 2015, there are 165,000 room nights on the books with another 258,000 in various stages of the bid process. The Bureau also reported that the booking pace is ahead for 2014 through 2018.
Alexander attributes the rise in bookings in part to the expansion underway at Cobo Center and new investment from the private sector, which is transforming Detroit into a vibrant city center with considerable appeal to meeting planners. He also said the DMCVB’s marketing campaign themed “America’s Great Comeback City,” that tells the story of new development in the region, has resonated with planners and visitors.
Upcoming major conventions booked by the DMCVB sales team in 2013 include:
· Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses International District Assembly, June 6-8, 2014 and July 24-27, 2014, 60,000 room nights and 90,000 total attendance
· USA Volleyball Open National Championships, May 18-27, 2015, 14,000 room nights and 10,000 total attendance
· Communications Workers of America 75th Convention, June 1-11, 2015, 8,700 room nights, 1,400 total attendance
· American Communications Network, Inc. ACN/GE Planning, Sept. 6-10, 2017 and Sept. 4-8, 2019, 8,000-plus room nights each year and 18,000 in attendance each year
· Automotive Services Association NACE-CARS Industry Week, July 25-Aug. 5, 2014 and July 17-28, 2015, 8,400 room nights and 800 in attendance each year
· Nation of Islam The Saviours’ Day, Feb. 20-23, 2014, 7,000 room nights and 5,000 total attendance
· NeighborWorks America Training Institute, Aug. 7-12, 2016, 7,800 room nights and 1,200 total attendance
Alexander also said that the Detroit Sports Commission, a subsidiary of the DMCVB, will pursue opportunities to bring individual Olympic sports organizations together and create one multi-sport competitive event in 2014, as well as pursue college events and identify new regional facilities so they can grow this important sports market in the region.
The DMCVB Annual Meeting featured an energetic five-person panel of dedicated advocates and influencers in the region including Faye Alexander Nelson, President & CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy; Deb Dansby, Vice President, Rock Ventures; Sue Mosey, President, Midtown Detroit, Inc.; Melissa Roy, Assistant County Executive, Macomb County; and Bridget Russo, Marketing Director, Shinola. The panel was moderated by Christy McDonald, MiWeek Anchor for WTVS.