Page 1

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW


Visit Buffalo Niagara enjoyed another terrific year in 2011, breaking records again for definite room nights booked, website traffic and YouTube views, while generating the most out-of-market media coverage that we’ve ever received. The VBN staff was very busy all year. We unveiled the Buffalo. For Real brand, completed the successful redesign of visitbuffaloniagara.com, executed phase one of our Canadian marketing plan, implemented a new state-of-the-art customer relationship management program, launched our first mobile website, increased our Buffalo Ambassador mailing list by more than 1,000 subscribers, and developed the new tourism recognition program, the Travel and Tourism Beacon Awards. In the month of October, we hosted four major conventions. The most strategically important was the National Preservation Conference, which was a smashing success, breaking the conference’s attendance record and sending more than 2,500 people back to their communities with glowing reviews of their experience in Buffalo. The most exciting aspect was seeing our community come together to give our visitors a world-class experience. I feel we cannot say “thank you” enough to the local organizing committee (see list on page 7), who, together with VBN, made the very most of this opportunity to make Buffalo shine. The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center also had an excellent year, breaking a record for earned revenues in a single year. That bounty was reinvested in the facility, with new paint, lobby furniture and other upgrades. You’ll see continued improvements in 2012, as well.

KC KRATT

The graphs below illustrate that Erie County hotel occupancy rates were stronger than the national average in 2011, while VBN continued our steady growth in definite room nights booked. Thank you for your support of Visit Buffalo Niagara, and should you have any questions or comments, please give me a call.

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen President & CEO gallaghercohen@visitbuffaloniagara.com • 716-961-0200

ON THE COVER: The National Preservation Conference held its opening plenary at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Photo by Joe Cascio.

Tourism by the numbers

Smith Travel Research Erie County Hotel Report

2011 was a record-breaking year for VBN and Erie County hotels

Average Hotel Occupancy Rate Revenues

Erie County hotel revenues jumped 7 percent, year over year, to reach a new record, while the average rate charged by hotels rose 3 percent over 2010, surpassing the $90 mark for the first time ever. VBN definite room nights booked continued to climb in 2011, while Erie County hotel monthly occupancy percentages exceeded the national average.

VBN DEFINITE ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED 180,000 165,644

160,000

150,439

150,000 130,000 120,000 110,000 100,000

66.1%

$90.96 $197,823,142

2010

64.7%

$87.45 $185,541,315

2009

63.3%

$87.09 $172,821,398

MONTHLY OCCUPANCY PERCENTAGE, 2011 90%

170,000

140,000

2011

84.2

80%

73.6

139,689

60%

130,728

61.4 55.7 54

50% 118,647

2007

2008

40% 2009

2010

2011

45.6

63.4 59.9

61.5

67.6

61.2 47.7

73.9

69.9

68.8

70%

82.8

71.8

63.3 66.2

62.3

63.1

51.5

55.7

47.6

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

ERIE COUNTY

NATIONAL AVERAGE


THE Records KEEP COMING

VBN CONVENTION, SPORTS & GROUP TOUR SALES

$123 million Future economic impact

441

Hotel room nights booked

ALL TIME

189

Events hosted

247

30,100

Nights the Center was occupied

Hotel room nights utilized due to events at the Center

3

BUFFALO NIAGARA SPORTS COMMISSION

130

71,025 Hotel room nights

Amateur sporting events

VBN MARKETING

Media value of out-of-town media coverage

97 Out-of-town

261 Local media

media hits

hits

BUFFALO NIAGARA FILM COMMISSION

63 Completed location scouts

661,284 Unique visits to visitbuffaloniagara.com, up 33% from 2010

355

Production days with Film Commission involvement

www.Visitbuffaloniagara.com

83,426 Attendance

56 Total projects shot

RECORD

BUFFALO NIAGARA CONVENTION CENTER

291,000

People attended events at the Convention Center

165, 644

814 Sales leads

Conventions, meetings, amateur athletic events or group tours booked

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW

VBN continued to break records in 2011. The sales team set new high marks for Record booking hotel room nights (165,644); booking conventions, meetings, amateur athletic breaking figures are in events or group tours (441); and generating sales leads (814). These bookings will result red in another record – more than $123 million in future economic impact. On the marketing front, VBN generated non-local media coverage with a total media value of $1.85 million (exceeding the previous record set in 2009 by 35 percent) and increased the number of unique web visitors to visitbuffaloniagara.com to 661,284 (up 33 percent over 2010).


MAR K E TING

4

GETTING REAL

VBN President & CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen unveils the Buffalo. For Real brand at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Buffalo. For Real campaign debuted in 2011 In May 2011, after more than a year of meetings, research and collaboration with a broad spectrum of volunteer stakeholders from local government, foundations, businesses, sports teams, attractions, arts organizations and ad agencies, VBN unveiled the following brand positioning statement for the region:

“For inquisitive and creative explorers seeking original stories in American history, architecture, arts and culture, Buffalo Niagara is a not to be missed treasure because it is authentic, accessible and unexpected.” This positioning now directs every aspect of VBN’s work, including its website, visitors guide, social media, videos, sales aids, public relations, advertising and a new tagline: Buffalo. For Real.

NEW WEBSITE

661,284

VBN redesigned visitbuffaloniagara.com into a sleek, content-rich, mobile-enabled, UNIQUE VISITORS TO VISITBUFFALONIAGARA.COM, social media-friendly site that now allows A 33% INCREASE visitors to purchase hotel and attraction OVER 2010 packages, view Twitter activity from VBN tourism partners and easily locate partners via Google Maps. The site attracted 661,284 unique visitors in 2011, a 33 percent increase over 2010.


MAR K E TING

ABOUT BRANDING

A team that included the VBN marketing staff and members of the regional branding group gave the Buffalo Niagara Visitors Guide a complete overhaul in 2011. The guide took on a magazine-style format with striking full-page photos, in-depth stories and a series of three unique covers.

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW

NEW VISITORS GUIDE

NEW VIDEOS Visit Buffalo Niagara partnered with First + Main Media to create a new “Buffalo.ForRealTV” webisode

5

series, featuring fun, upbeat videos about Buffalo’s beer scene, the Erie Canal Harbor, Allentown First Fridays, series, which is supported by the Phyllis W. Pierce Charitable Trust, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation and the Simple Gifts Fund, will continue in 2012.

VBN’S VIDEOS HAVE

1/2 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE

VBN also released “Buffalo. For Real,” an overview of Buffalo’s art, architecture, history and culture; “Buffalo: All the City’s a Stage,” which puts Buffalo’s vibrant theater scene in the spotlight; and a pair of sales videos for use by VBN and Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission staff. By the end of 2011, VBN’s videos had a total of 509,102 views

on YouTube. 87 percent of those views occurred in the 18 months from July 2010 to December 2011. Check out our videos at youtube.com/buffalocvb

NEW NAME At the same time that the Buffalo. For Real brand was introduced, the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau changed its name to the more streamlined Visit Buffalo Niagara and adopted a new visual identity.

www.Visitbuffaloniagara.com

Buffalo Bills tailgating and Vidler’s 5&10. The popular


CON V E NTIONS , S P ORTS & GROU P TOUR SAL E S

AN OCTOBER TO REMEMBER

Volunteers and local Boy Scouts plant flowers near Niagara Square.

New York State School Boards Association Convention & Education Expo

National Preservation Conference attendees tour the Darwin D. Martin House Complex.

More than 10,000 conference attendees visited in October In 2011,VBN had its best October in recent memory, as the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center hosted the U.S. Animal Health Association Annual Meeting, National Association for Campus Activities Mid Atlantic Regional Conference, the National Preservation Conference and the New York State School Boards Association Convention & Education Expo, for a total of more than 10,000 attendees.

6

preparing for company To gear up for the big month, VBN, Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo Place, the Buffalo Green Fund, the City of Buffalo, the County of Erie, the Elmwood Village Association, Buffalo in Bloom, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and local businesses, organizations and attractions worked together to spruce up streets and sidewalks; plant flowers and trees; and post welcome signage around town, ensuring that Buffalo looked as attractive as possible. VBN also partnered with the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and local hotels to greet guests and provide visitor information.

PROTECTING PLACES & TEARING DOWN A RECORD:

THE NATIONAL PRESERVATION CONFERENCE

The National Preservation Conference (Oct. 19 to 22) was a rousing success in every sense. Buffalo established a new attendance record for the conference by welcoming 2,522 preservationists from every state in the U.S. for an estimated economic impact of $4.2 million. Conference attendees, who are the trusted architecture and preservation thought-leaders in their home communities, gave glowing reviews of Buffalo’s buildings, neighborhoods, attractions and hospitality.

FOUR YEARS OF ATTENDANCE BUILDING Members of the conference’s local organizing committee, led by VBN and Preservation Buffalo Niagara, worked for four years to build interest and attendance for the conference. VBN efforts included print and online advertising, public relations, creating the “Buffalo: This Place Matters” video (which went viral on YouTube with more than 200,000 views), and sending a delegation to man a trade show booth at each of the previous four conferences.

Visit Buffalo Niagara has been the most outstanding convention and visitors bureau that we have worked with in a long time.

Valecia Crisafulli, National Trust for Historic Preservation Vice President of Partnerships


CON V E NTIONS , S P ORTS & GROU P TOUR SAL E S

MEDIA COVERAGE

Leveraging the National Trust Congress for the New Urbanism

The Congress for the New Urbanism, the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions, will hold its 22nd Congress in Buffalo in June 2014. The Congress typically attracts approximately 1,700 attendees, resulting in an estimated economic impact of $2.6 million. VBN worked closely with the Buffalo Niagara Consortium for the New Urbanism to bid for the conference.

Thank You!

Richardson-Olmsted Complex Project Coordinator Monica Pellegrino Faix, right, gives a tour to writer JoAnn Greco.

VBN would like to thank the members of the National Preservation Conference Local Organizing Committee:

Sarah Carney, event consultant & PBN

Robert Skerker, Think Solutions, co-chair

Mike Even, VBN

Mary Roberts, Darwin Martin House

Cindy SternerHenry McCartney, PBN Kincaide, VBN

Ed Healy, VBN Louise Yots, Niagara Day Tom Yots, PBN & Niagara Day George Arthur, Nash House & Michigan Ave. Heritage Corridor

Liz Dann, Windows on Main Street

Maura Cohen, PBN

Bernie Tolbert, Security Consultant

Blythe Merrill, PBN & John R. Oishei Foundation

Holly Donaldson, PBN & Forest Lawn

Kerry Mitchell, Canadian Consulate Steve Weiss, PBN Board Chair

Travel & Tourism in the Spotlight

VBN debuted its Travel & Tourism Beacon Awards

On May 11, VBN held a National Travel & Tourism Week Celebration at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The event featured the inaugural Travel and Tourism Beacon Awards, which recognize superior service throughout the industry, from volunteer docents to hotel general managers. 2011 Beacon Award recipients: Good Earthkeeping Award

Tourism Initiative of the Year

Yolanda Bowman Buffalo Marriott

Waseem Mango Adam’s Mark Hotel

Taste of Buffalo Presented by Tops

Lodging Manager of the Year

Tourism Employee of the Year

Tourism Volunteer of the Year

Jennifer Taylor Comfort Suites-Downtown Lodging General Manager of the Year

Matthew Spencer Comfort Suites-Downtown

Erin Grajek Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

Michael Osika Darwin Martin House Complex

Tourism Executive of the Year

Robert Schell Amherst Youth Hockey

Louis Grachos Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Buffalo Ambassador of the Year

7

www.Visitbuffaloniagara.com

Catherine Schweitzer, Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) & the Baird Foundation, co-chair

Lodging Employee of the Year

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW

BIDDING FOR RELATED BUSINESS:

During the National Preservation Conference, VBN hosted freelance writer JoAnn Greco, who wrote an architecture travel story for the Washington Post. The story had a media value of $115,294.


CON V E NTIONS , S P ORTS & GROU P TOUR SAL E S

Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission $ 2.2 million

ENTERING THE GOLDEN AGE

In August, after more than four years of research, collaboration and bidding, the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission and the VA Western New York Healthcare System announced that the National Veterans Golden Age Games will come to Buffalo in 2013. The event will have an estimated economic impact of $2.2 million.

ESTIMATED

ECONOMIC IMPACT

GIVING BUFFALO A TRI More than 550 athletes from the United States, Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe competed in the inaugural Nickel City Triathlon (NCT) on Sept. 24 and 25. The race was part of USA Triathlon’s six-city Elite Race Series, and it had the added distinction of serving as the USA Triathlon Elite National Championship in 2011. The NCT will also be an Elite Race Series tour stop in 2012 and 2013.

ICING THE COMPETITION 8

Through the work of Amherst Youth Hockey and the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, Buffalo Niagara has become a youth hockey powerhouse. In the spring of 2011, the Northtown Center at Amherst hosted a USA Hockey Youth event for the fourth time in five years. Hundreds of budding hockey stars representing 42 teams from across the country competed in USA Hockey’s Tier II Youth 14 & Under National Championships from March 30 to April 3, for an estimated economic impact of $1.5 million.

Major 2011 Conventions Arranged by estimated economic impact NAME

ESTIMATED ECONOMIC IMPACT

DATE ATTENDEES

New York State School Boards Association

$7,750,000

Oct 27-30

4,500

New York State Board of Law Examiners

$4,629,000

Feb 21-23

3,000

National Trust for Historic Preservation

$4,205,000

Oct 19-23

2,500

Church of God and Saints of Christ

$4,079,000

Apr 13-21

1,400

U.S. Animal Health Association

$3,070,000

Sep 29-Oct 5

1,500

Spanish Eastern District Women’s $2,989,000 Assembly of God Ministries

Apr 29-May 1

2,500

National Association of Campus Activities

$2,027,000

Oct 7-13

1,200

Society of the First Infantry Division

$1,835,000

Aug 17-21

1,000

American Association of Airport Executives

$1,099,000

Apr 16-21

600

National Adult Protective Services Association

$1,093,000

Sep 18-23

600

New York State Town Clerks

$930,000

Apr 30-May 4

500

Small Business Administration

$892,000

Aug 14-19

500

Croatian Fraternal Union of America

$785,000

Sep 14-23

450


I DO!

Best Foot Forward

Buffalo Niagara becomes an LGBT wedding & honeymoon destination

Buffalo, IN FOCUS In 2011, the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission brought 56 projects to Western New York, resulting in 355 production days of work and $3.1 million in direct spending. Highlights included the completion of production for Queen City, a feature film starring Vivica PRODUCTION DAYS A. Fox, Peter Jason and Sharon Jones; the return of the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters to film several “haunted” Western New York locations; the filming and airing of Off Limits, a new Travel Channel show hosted by Don Wildman; and visits to Niagara Falls by Russia’s most watched network, Russia One, for a documentary on water, and the Duggar Family for TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting.

9

www.Visitbuffaloniagara.com

visitors from as far away as Australia.

VBN debuted Buffalo on Foot, a pocket-sized walking guide, in summer 2011. Printed with support from the Baird Foundation and the Phyllis W. Pierce Charitable Trust, Buffalo on Foot includes nine self-guided tours of Buffalo’s neighborhoods and East Aurora, with maps, photos and architectural highlights. Preservation Buffalo Niagara and architectural historian Martin Wachadlo provided assistance with the guide.

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW

In response to New York State passing the Marriage Equality Act, VBN and the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation formed an LGBT advisory group to help attract same-sex weddings to Buffalo Niagara. With input and assistance from the group, VBN created lgbtbuffalo.com, a microsite with information about open and affirming houses of worship, wedding and reception venues, accommodations and service providers in Buffalo. VBN drove traffic to the site with an aggressive print, online and email advertising campaign with LGBT media outlets. By the end of 2011, the site had received more than 8,000 unique

VBN introduces a new walking guide

355

Russia One sent a crew to Niagara Falls for a documentary on water.


Oh, Canada! VBN targeted our neighbors to the north in 2011 In 2010, VBN conducted research in Toronto as part of its branding initiative, and the resulting data showed that Torontonians had a narrow, out-of-date perception of Buffalo. Based on this information, VBN developed and executed phase one of a targeted Ontario marketing and public relations plan in 2011.

Reaching Out to the Media TORONTO MEDIA DINNER April 2011 VBN contracted with Toronto-based tourism PR firm Connect Worldwide to set up a dinner in Toronto for high-profile Canadian travel, arts and culture writers. The event, which was hosted by VBN President and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, V.P. of Marketing Ed Healy and Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Louis Grachos, was an absolute success, with several writers expressing interest in visiting Buffalo.

10

FAM TOUR

FAM TOUR

JUNE 2011 VBN hosted Toronto Star writer Adrian Brijbassi for a weekend.

JULY 2011 VBN hosted Toronto Star writer Richard Ouzounian for a weekend.

STORY

STORY

STORY

STORY

JUNE 2011 TheStar.com ran a blog post by Brijbassi, titled “How I overcame my prejudice against Buffalo.” Media value: $5,287

AUGUST 2011 The Toronto Star ran a travel story by Brijbassi, titled “Perfect Weekend: 2 days/2 nights in Buffalo.” Media value: $63,672

NOVEMBER 2011 The Toronto Star ran a travel/ dining story by Ouzounian, titled “Wings, Shopping – and Spectacular Food.” Media value: $28,465

NOVEMBER 2011 The Toronto Star ran a travel story by Ouzounian, titled “Post-Shopping Options Abound in Nearby Buffalo.” Media value: $13,483

BUILDING ON SUCCESS

BUILDING ON SUCCESS

BUILDING ON SUCCESS

AUGUST 2011 VBN ran an ad in the Toronto Star for a contest to “Win the Perfect Weekend in Buffalo,” which received 7695 entries.

November 2011 VBN ran an ad in the Toronto Star for a contest to “Win the Ultimate Foodie Weekend in Buffalo,” which received 850 entries.

November 2011 VBN sent information to the Toronto Star about our holiday shopping packages. A news brief ran in the paper the following week.


Oh, Canada!

CONTINUED BOOK YOUR

BUFFALO SHOPP ING PA C K A G E T O D AY ! PACKA GES INCLU DE

OVERNIGHT HOTEL STAY BOUTIQUE SHOPP ING GIFT CERTIF ICATE COUPONS & MAPS ...AND A

FREE $25 WALDEN GALLERIA GIFT CARD!

SHOPPING PACKAGE In fall, VBN introduced a holiday shopping package to encourage Canadians to stay longer during their visits. It included a hotel stay, an Elmwood Village gift certificate, a Walden Galleria gift card, coupons and shopping maps.

PACKAGES START

ING AT

$102 USD HURRY!

over, so is this deal!

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW

When the holidays are

BOOK YOUR PACKAGE NO W AT

WWW.SHOPPIN

GINBUFFALO.COM

NATE BENSON

1.888.330.6746

BETTER PRICES. BET

TER SELECTION. BETTER GET OV ER HERE.

national women’s show

From Nov. 11 to 13, VBN operated a table at the National Women’s Show in Toronto for the 5th consecutive year. VBN staff and representatives from the Elmwood Village and Hertel Avenue shopping districts reached out to the 15,000 show attendees to encourage them to purchase shopping packages, register for a “Win a Buffalo Shopping Spree” contest (which received 1,726 entries), “like” our “Shopping in Buffalo” Facebook page and sign up for VBN’s shopping email newsletter.

11

DISCOVER AMERICA DAY VBN Communications Manager Peter Burakowski attended Discover America Day in Toronto in October, where he had meetings with more than a dozen members of the Canadian travel media.

WIN BUFFALO T H E

PERFECT WEEKEN D IN

ALBRIGHT-KNOX ART GALLERY

VBN launched an aggressive advertising campaign in Ontario that included outlets like the Toronto Star, City Bites magazine, Fashion magazine, Flare magazine’s website, BOOM 97.3FM and the Chris Robinson Travel Show (Newstalk 1010 in Ontario). VBN also committed half of all its online payper-click advertising to attracting Canadian shoppers.

email newsletters In 2011, VBN nearly doubled its list of shopping email subscribers to more than 10,000. The vast majority of subscribers are Canadian.

SHEA’S PERFORMIN G ARTS CENTER

JIM BUSH

DARWIN MARTIN HOUSE COMPLEX

ELMWOOD VILLAGE SHOPPING

Yes, the perfect weekend in Buffalo includes shoppin just the start. Get g. But that’s ready for world-c lass art and architec shopping, live theatre, ture, fantastic fine dining and luxury accomm odations. OVERNIGHT ACCOMM

WHAT YOU’L L WIN

KC KRATT

KC KRATT

1.800.BUFFALO

ODATIONS AT THE MANSION ON DELAWA 2 TICKETS TO THE RE AVENUE LION KING AT SHEA’S PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 2 TICKETS TO THE

ALBRIGHT-KNOX FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT ART GALLERY AND ’S DARWIN MARTIN HOUSE COMPLE ELMWOOD VILLAGE X SHOPPING GIFT CERTIFICATE CRAFT BEER AT BLUE MONK • DINNER AT TEMPO • BRUNCH AT BETTY’S Winning package

must be redeemed October

7-9, 2011.

ENTER TO W IN AT WWW.WEEKENDI

NBUFFALO.COM

10,000

SHOPPING EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

www.Visitbuffaloniagara.com

ADVERTISING

ERIC FRICK


VISITORS TO BUFFALO:

Well-Educated & Well-Heeled VBN research paints a very desirable visitor profile In the summer of 2011, VBN engaged a pair of companies – RUF Strategic Solutions and Ruth Diamond Market Research – to collect and analyze data about visitors to our community. RUF’s analysis revealed that, relative to the average American, visitors to Buffalo:

} Are nearly twice as likely to have household incomes of $175,000 to $199,000 } Are twice as likely to have graduate degrees } Are 1.5 times as likely to have a bachelor’s degree

96%

Ruth Diamond conducted oneon-one intercept surveys at Garden Walk Buffalo and the National Buffalo Wing Festival and the results were nothing short of spectacular. For example, 96 percent of survey participants at Garden Walk Buffalo had an extremely favorable impression of Buffalo, with the average rating being a 4.6 on a scale of 5. Of the Wing Festival respondents, 89 percent had an extremely favorable impression of Buffalo and 95 percent were college educated.

OF GARDEN WALK BUFFALO ATTENDEES HAVE

FAVORABLE IMPRESSIONS OF BUFFALO

12

OMG!

VBN Excels in Social Media Visit Buffalo Niagara continues to be an industry leader in social media. On Facebook, VBN’s “Buffalo” page grew to 30,500 fans, tripling 2010’s total. Meanwhile, VBN maintained the “The 716” Facebook page (67,317 fans) and introduced new pages for the National Garden Festival, “Shopping in Buffalo” and the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission; became active on Foursquare; and saw our Twitter page grow to 3,180 followers.

VBN REACHES MORE THAN

100,000

FACEBOOK FANS

BUFFALO AMBASSADORS:

Show Your BuffaLOVE VBN restructured and reinvigorated its Buffalo Ambassadors program in 2011, growing the program to 1,973 members. There are now three ways to support Buffalo’s travel and tourism industry as an Ambassador:

1. Subscribe to VBN’s monthly Tourism Insider email newsletter 2. Volunteer to assist at a visitor information desk during a conference or amateur sporting event 3. Use personal or professional connections to help VBN bring an event to Buffalo To learn more about the program, go to visitbuffaloniagara.com/ambassador.

What’s Ahead in 2012 2012 is shaping up to be another exciting year! Look for VBN to: }C  ontinue to promote and implement

our “Buffalo. For Real” brand }E  xpand our Buffalo Ambassador program }E  xecute phase two of our Canadian marketing plan } L ead an effort to create a multi-year visitor research plan }C  apitalize on opportunities from the War of 1812 bicentennial, the Marriage Equality Act, the National Garden Festival and other major events }C  ontinue the next phase of Buffalo Niagara Convention Center capital improvements


On June 28, Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Facility Director Paul Murphy unveiled Court Street Plaza, a revitalized public space alongside the center. The plaza received new picnic tables, landscaping, signage and bike racks.

13 In November, Kelly Weger, left, and Bethany Schultz, right, came from Michigan to celebrate their wedding in Buffalo. They held their ceremony at the Buffalo Niagara Visitors Center.

2011 VISIT BUFFALO NIAGARA STAFF Charles Giglia Director of Sports Sales Pete Harvey Director of Sports Development Ed Healy Vice President of Marketing Jay Josker Sport Services Manager Heather Keller Administrative Assistant Cindy Sterner-Kincaide Director, Buffalo Ambassador Program Tracy Martell Convention Services Manager David Marzo Chief Financial Officer Leah Mueller Tourism Sales Director Judy Smith Director of Administration Matt Steinberg Director of Creative Services Rich Wall Operations Manager/ Production Services, Buffalo Niagara Film Commission Lori White National Sales Manager Dionne Williamson Multicultural Sales Manager

www.Visitbuffaloniagara.com

VBN V.P. of Marketing Ed Healy, Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association Director Neil Stern, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy President & CEO Thomas Herrera-Mishler and Director of Strategic Planning & Institutional Advancement Otis Glover, National Garden Festival Executive Director Sally Cunningham, Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Director of Marketing Erin Grajek and Garden Walk Buffalo President Jim Charlier announced the beginning of the 2nd annual National Garden Festival in June.

Melissa Barrie Information Specialist Kathy Benzel Information Technology/ Online Content Manager Peter Burakowski Communications Manager Michelle Butlak Accounting and Benefits Manager Matt Carlucci Sales Manager Giovanni Centurione Information Specialist Tim Clark Director, Buffalo Niagara Film Commission Karen Cox Convention Services Manager Linda D’Agostino Director of Sales & Government Relations Dan Della Vella Graphic Designer Denise Drews Visitor Center Manager Michael Even Vice President of Sales & Services Karen Fashana Marketing Manager Dottie Gallagher-Cohen President & CEO

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW

Local officials, nationally-ranked triathletes and staff from Eclipse Multisport and the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission kicked off the inaugural Nickel City Triathlon in September. City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, center, is flanked by Erie County Legislator Lynn Marinelli on his left and VBN President & CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen and Buffalo Bills Executive V.P. of Strategic Planning Mary Owen on his right.


2011 Committees of visit Buffalo Niagara and Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Management Corporation Executive Committee Chair – Gary Praetzel

Niagara University

Committee Members

Jonathan A. Dandes Past Chair

Rich Baseball Operations

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Visit Buffalo Niagara

University at Buffalo

Karen Miranda

Embassy Suites

Minesh Patel

Adam’s Mark

Bonnie Phillips

Martin’s Fantasy Island

Matt Spencer

Comfort Suites

Julie Williams

Hyatt Regency Buffalo

Kathy Konst County Representative

County of Erie

Andrew Rudnick Treasurer

Buffalo Niagara Partnership

Mary Roberts Secretary

Martin House Restoration Corporation

Justin Azzarella

Elmwood Village Association

Holly Sinnott Vice Chair

Planning Works International

Tony Conte

Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Chair – Andrew Rudnick Buffalo Niagara Partnership Staff – David Marzo

CFO

Committee Members

Tom Beiter

Marketing Committee Chair – Drew Cerza

Just Wing It Productions

Staff – Ed Healy

VP of Marketing

Committee Members

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Visit Buffalo Niagara

Budget/Finance/Audit Committee

14

Bruce Kolesnick

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Visit Buffalo Niagara

C. Douglas Hartmayer

NFTA

Nick Magnini

Fox 29

Andy Major

Buffalo Bills

Art Page

University at Buffalo

Rudi Rainer

Super 8 Hotel

James T. Sandoro Buffalo Transportation/ Pierce-Arrow Museum

Lynn Marinelli

Erie County Legislature

Mark Mortenson

Buffalo Museum of Science

Chair – Louis P. Ciminelli LP Ciminelli, Inc.

Paul Murphy

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

Staff – Paul Murphy Facility Director

Mary Roberts

Martin House Restoration Corporation

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Visit Buffalo Niagara

Sales Committee Chair – Dennis Murphy InnVest Lodging Services Staff – Mike Even

VP of Sales

Committee Members

Convention Center Operations Committee

Committee Members

John J. Mills

Erie County Legislature

Rudi Rainer

Super 8 Hotel

Jeff Zack

County of Erie

Visitor Center Committee

Phil Alterio

Buffalo Niagara Marriott

Co-Chairs – Florine Luhr Advancing Arts & Culture Mark Mortenson Buffalo Museum of Science

Melissa Burke

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

Staff – Judy Smith Director of Administration

Dave Carroll

Hart Hotels

Jay Delavecchia

Hyatt Regency Buffalo

John Dubreville

Hale Northeastern

Ann Dugan

Buffalo Lodging

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Visit Buffalo Niagara Barb Hughes

AAA

Thomas Keane

Hart Hotels

Staff – Denise Drews

Visitor Center Manager

Committee Members

Louis P. Ciminelli

LPCiminelli, Inc.

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Visit Buffalo Niagara Kathy Konst

County of Erie

C. Douglas Hartmayer

NFTA

Rudi Rainer

Super 8 Hotel


2011 VISIT BUFFALO NIAGARA board of directors Mark Mortensen Buffalo Museum of Science Dennis P. Murphy InnVest Lodging Services, Inc. Minesh Patel Adam’s Mark Hotel Gary D. Praetzel, Ph.D. Niagara University Mary F. Roberts Martin House Restoration Corporation Andrew J. Rudnick Buffalo Niagara Partnership James T. Sandoro Buffalo Transportation / Pierce-Arrow Museum Planning Works International, LLC Holly A. Sinnott Paul Snyder, III Snyder Corporation

2011 buffalo niagara SPORTS COMMISSION ADVISORY COUNCIL Brian Kiszewski Monsignor Martin Athletic Association Tom Koeller Buffalo State College John Lambert University at Buffalo Ed Lindsey Amateur Softball Association John Maddock Canisius College Bill Maher Canisius College Lynn Marinelli Erie County Tom Marks Gr8 Lakes Fishing Adventures Ed McLaughlin Niagara University John Murphy Channel 4 News Sister Maria Pares Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Jack Quinn Erie Community College Ron Raccuia AdPro Team Sports Edward Rath Erie County Donald Reed University at Buffalo Jeff Russo Channel 7 News Bob Schell Amherst Youth Hockey Timm Slade Section VI

2011 buffalo niagara CONVENTION CENTER STAFF Tom Beiter Controller Melissa Burke Senior Director of Sales and Marketing Angelo Canna, Jr. Food & Beverage Manager Lorna Cullen Executive Assistant Michelle Helles Convention Sales Manager Susan Kimmins Sales & Catering Manager Mary Ann Martin Accounting & Benefits Manager Sam Mendez Assistant Operations Manager Paul Murphy Facility Director Terry O’Brien Operations Manager

Melissa Pinterpe Keith Pitman Bonnie Pritchard Kenneth Sandford Raymond Thom Raymond Williams Danielle Winiarski

Convention & Event Service Manager Electrician Receptionist/ Administrative Assistant Engineer Executive Chef Timekeeper/Security Convention & Event Service Manager

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www.Visitbuffaloniagara.com

Gordon Anthony Canisius College Chris Aronica Aronica & Associates Adam Benigni Channel 2 News Brad Boyle Erie Community College Russ Brandon Buffalo Bills Mike Buczkowski Buffalo Bisons Vic Carucci Cleveland Browns Brian Cavanaugh D’Youville College Jonathan A. Dandes Rich Baseball Operations Sherry Frost Clarence Soccer Ralph Galanti Erie Community College (retired) Mike Gentile Professor, Niagara University Kathleen Gregoire Skating Club of Western New York Jim Hanley Hanley Fishing Charters C. Douglas Hartmayer NFTA Jim Hornung County of Erie Perry Jenkins University at Buffalo Peter Jerebko Erie Community College Ed Kilgore Channel 2 News

2011 ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW

Donald K. Boswell WNY Public Broadcasting Association Louis P. Ciminelli LPCiminelli, Inc. Jonathan A. Dandes Rich Baseball Operations Donna L. DeCarolis National Fuel Gas Company Dottie Gallagher-Cohen Visit Buffalo Niagara C. Douglas Hartmayer NFTA Kathy Konst County of Erie Anne Leary Development Consultant Florine Luhr Advancing Arts & Culture Lynn Marinelli Erie County Legislature John J. Mills Erie County Legislature


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JAMES CAVANAUGH

617 Main Street Suite 200 Buffalo, New York 14203 716.852.0511

VISITBUFFALONIAGARA.COM

Visit Buffalo Niagara Annual Business Review 2011  

Visit Buffalo Niagara Annual Business Review 2011

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