It’s been a busy year at the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau. From leading the charge towards the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse to constructing and moving into a new facility, the CVB’s staff and board of directors believe growth and change is a catalyst towards success in the tourism industry.
At the height of last years Eclipse, staff had already begun transitioning from the offices on 4th Street to the new facility located at 911 Frederick, right across from the Pony Express Statue, prominently featured at the entrance to an ever-changing downtown.
“We’re much more visible than where we were. We’ve been in our first location for 23 years and it’s served us well. The property for the new location became available and it was the right time for a change,” said Marci Bennett, Executive Director of the St. Joseph CVB.
The new building is about 4,800 square feet, which is only slightly smaller than the CVB’s last office, has public restrooms, more handicap accessibility and a large boardroom/community room…and the staff of eight utilize every inch. To cut down on additional costs, the CVB repurposed all the display cases from the old location and purchased used materials like kitchen cabinets and carpet from the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. “It was important to us to be extremely conscientious of how we were going to use tax funding to furnish the new space. Fortunately, we were able to repurpose most everything we had before,” said Bennett.
The new space allows the ability to host more educational seminars and meetings in a more convenient location. “Our last boardroom was a much smaller room on the 3rd floor of our building and limited us to what we can host at our offices,” Marci added. The bureau regularly hosts four Show-Me St. Joseph workshops a year, during which they educate new residents, front-line hotel staff, new museum staff and others on the importance of customer service. Outside businesses and organizations have already utilized the space as a meeting venue during regular business hours. The multi-purpose room has WIFI, smart TV technology and a hearing looping system graciously donated by the local St. Joseph Sertoma Club.
In addition to various seminars, meetings, and events, the new facility also provides storage for the thousands of promotional brochures, visitors guides, and other marketing materials needed to properly showcase St. Joseph and all it has to offer to our incoming visitors. Guests who have already visited the new building are always surprised when viewing the variety and quality of information and often comment on how much there is to do here.
In addition to leisure tourism, the CVB also has a strong sports, convention and group-tour market, and the new facility is more conducive to meeting with convention and group tour planners. The dedicated sales staff is always seeking out new large group events, and often preparations are made on site. In 2017 alone, over 400 meetings, sporting events and group tours were hosted in St. Jo with an estimated economic impact of $8.35 million dollars. When you see a charter bus driving around St. Joseph, most likely the CVB knows who they are and had a hand in planning out their visit.
All in all, the staff of the CVB is settling in nicely, and invites the local public to visit the new building at any time for a tour and to see the new Missouri River mural and Joseph Robidoux statue. More information on the Convention & Visitors Bureau is located at StJoMo.com. Please call 816-233-6688 with any questions.
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