The following statement from interim GoCedar Rapids CEO Jim Haddad was released to the media, including WMT Radio this morning...
In a following statement, the city of Cedar Rapids will take over operations of the convention and visitors bureau from GoCR:
The City of Cedar Rapids will undertake an initiative to market Cedar Rapids as a destination for tourism, conventions, meetings, sports tournament and special events. The City’s initiative is expected to continue 12-18 months on a transitional basis. The activities the City will undertake include:
- Encouraging and soliciting groups to hold meetings, conventions, events and tradeshows in Cedar Rapids and assisting those groups with meeting/event preparations and while their meeting/event is in progress.
- Encouraging tourists to visit and enjoy the historic, cultural and recreational opportunities in Cedar Rapids.
- Representing Cedar Rapids and helping the long-term development of the community through a travel and tourism strategy.
- Promoting the City’s assets to visitors with the objective of increasing the economic impact to the local economy.
“Marketing Cedar Rapids as a destination for these activities plays an important role as an economic driver for any community – soliciting and supporting conventions and events which draw visitors to the area,” said Casey Drew City of Cedar Rapids Finance Director. “In light of Go Cedar Rapids’ decision to cease operations, the city recognized the need to undertake its own activities to fill this important gap to help support our local hotels, restaurants and businesses.”
These operations will be managed by VenuWorks, which is under contract with the City to manage operations at the convention center and ice arena. VenuWorks is currently in the process of determining staffing needs for the operations. These operations will be funded using hotel-motel funding.
Go Cedar Rapids is a private and separate non-profit corporation, to which the City has historically provided funding from hotel-motel taxes to support its mission of promoting tourism and bringing conventions and events to the community.
Further updates will be provided in the coming weeks as operations are established.