Austin, it's safe to say, is a Texas city like no other. Julie Chase, newly appointed VP of Marketing & Tourism at the Austin CVB, is familiar with its allure, having served as Texas Tourism Director for the Office of the Governor, where her leadership helped the state generate record visitation and travel spending. She'll continue to promote the unique, eco-conscious and high-tech state capital in true Austin style.
In marketing Austin's signature mix of music, arts and film to groups, what are you most looking forward to?
Everything. Marquee events such as SXSW and the Austin City Limits Music Festival have helped make Austin a top destination. The launch of our vintage refurbished 30-foot Austin Airstream trailer, our “rolling rockstar experience” complete with onboard music studio, will be hitting the road at various CVB events and upholding our brand as the Live Music Capital of the World.
Austin was a pioneer in green living. Now that almost everyone touts it, how will you up the game for eco-conscious meeting planners?
With the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) terminal structure built of 100 percent recycled steel, visitors slip into Austin's “green state of mind” as soon as they touch down. The Austin Convention Center recently achieved LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings, one of only two in the United States and the only one in Texas. The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center is another LEED Gold facility, with an extensive recycling and composting program. To cut down on paper it now offers a new app for meeting planners.
Every time a new “Best of” or “Top 10” list comes out, Austin seems to be on it. What are you proudest of?
A big congratulations to the new home of Austin City Limits Live, the Moody Theater at the W Austin for being crowned the “Best New Major Concert Venue” by Pollstar. Austin's own Paul Qui just won “Top Chef Texas.” Austin is also a mini Silicon Valley, ranked as one of the top techiest cities in the country.*
Any more news?
In November, the Circuit of the Americas track will be the only purpose-built facility in the country designed for Formula 1(TM) racing and the host circuit for the U.S. Grand Prix from 2012-2021. The Lone Star Court opens in 2013, a retro-inspired 123-room motor court concept with 2,000 feet of meeting space (nostalgia included). The convention-style, 1000+ room JW Marriott Austin is scheduled for 2015. This city has really grown and the ACVB is positioning to bring in a whole new level of meeting possibilities.
*Don't we know it! See Introducing CrowdTorch for more news about Cvent's Austin-based acquisition.