SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A proposed four-year contract for the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide sales and marketing services for the Convention Center was forwarded Monday by the Economic Development and Services Committee to the full City Council for final approval.
ConVis would try to attract large organizations that book national meetings and trade shows several years in advance. The shift in marketing responsibilities is part of a planned expansion of the center designed to make San Diego more appealing for organizers of big shows.
"We do have a phenomenal facility and this is all about -- in my opinion -- keeping it that way and making sure that for years to come we attract the large convention groups -- every size of convention group -- to keep it operating the best we can," Councilman Kevin Faulconer said.
All convention marketing had previously been handled by center staff, but tourism officials have complained about inconsistency -- big shows mixed with dead periods. However, figures provided by the center show that hotel room nights generated by meetings at the facility had nearly returned to pre-recession levels by the 2010-11 fiscal year.
The Convention Center Corp. would pay ConVis $1.9 million for the marketing services in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Future payment amounts would be negotiated. The contract would run until June 30, 2016, with an option to extend for two more years.
The $520 million expansion project at the Convention Center could begin as soon as the end of this calendar year, funded in part by an increase in taxes charged to hotel guests. When complete, the facility would increase in size by 961,187 square feet to 2.75 million square feet of floor space.
A consultant's study says a larger building could bring 25 additional large conventions annually, with attendees spending an additional $121 million to stay at local hotels.
A touching show of solidarity was on display Sunday as the body of fallen San Diego firefighter Cory Iverson returned to San Diego.
A small plane crashed and burned in an El Cajon parking lot shortly after takeoff Sunday, sending three people to a hospital.
One person was killed and at least two others injured in a two-car crash on Old Highway 395 near Pala Mesa Resort on Sunday.
A driver's license and drunken driving checkpoint in Poway resulted in four arrests, sheriff's officials said Sunday.
Despite recent windy, dry conditions, some San Diegans were treated to cool weather, and in some areas, light sprinkles this weekend.
Distraught doesn't begin to describe the family of Jermaine Barnes, a Mountain View man left with life-threatening brain injuries after he was hit by a car Friday night outside of his home.
Gun owners were given the chance to trade in their unwanted firearms for cash or a skateboard at a gun buyback event hosted by local police and faith leaders on Saturday.
More than 140 children received early Christmas gifts Saturday thanks to a local church and the county's bravest men and women.