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March 13, 2014

Norman tourism luncheon slated for National Weather Center

NORMAN — The Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau has tapped the National Weather Center as the location for its upcoming tourism luncheon May 13.

New hire executive director Dan Schemm said that while Journey Church is a great venue, the NCVB will take a new direction and host events at tourism and destination partners in the future.

“We’re excited about the tourism luncheon this year,” Schemm said when he made the announcement to his board of directors Wednesday. “(The National Weather Center) is one of our partners.”

Schemm said the ticket price this year will be lower to encourage more nonprofit partners to attend. Tickets will be $30.

The NCVB board also approved the Fiscal Year 2015 budget Wednesday. The budget, along with the semi-annual report, will be presented to the Norman City Council.

Schemm made several changes in the budget, including dropping some large trade shows with high expenses that he does not feel are productive for a community and CVB Norman’s size.

He also dropped the direct mail expense, at least for now.

“We didn’t feel like we were getting great return on our investment,” he said.

New expenses include some smaller trade shows that fit more closely with Norman’s profile.

Schemm said he and his staff also will do some “local prospecting looking for hometown heroes.”

Schemm hopes to encourage members of the community to let the NCVB know about the groups and organizations they are involved with that host conventions and conferences. Often, those are good links to bringing in new events, he said.

The Fiscal Year 2014 Semi-Annual Report indicates that leisure travel media impressions, print and online, were up dramatically from 83.64 million last year to 423 million this year.

Occupancy rates are down somewhat this year, mostly due to construction at Interstate 35 and Main Street. Sales manager Susan Bash said those properties have reported a decline in occupancy related to the construction of the highway interchange.

Joy Hampton

366-3544

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

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