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Marketing campaign for TEE Center will promote flexibility of space

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 3:54 PM
Last updated 10:14 PM
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The Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a $350,000 marketing project that will span the next 11 months, getting the word out locally and across the state that the downtown Augusta Convention Center expansion – the TEE Center – is looking for business.


“My life is very TEE-centric right now,” said Peggy Seigler, the vice president of marketing and sales for the CVB.

Seigler and CVB president and CEO Barry White spoke at Thursday’s meeting of the Downtown Develop­ment Association to update them on the outreach campaign, highlighting the importance of local residents in making the TEE Center a success. The money comes from the $1 hotel-motel tax and the plan includes print advertisements, information packets and other outreach methods to inform and attract potential visitors.

Locking down reservations has been difficult, as the original completion date was pushed back from the second quarter of 2012 to late summer. Only four groups have made reservations so far, the earliest of which is in January 2013. Seigler said local residents can play a key role in convincing their groups to meet in Augusta, demonstrating faith in the TEE Center, which could in turn encourage other groups to visit, too.

“We all have something to bring to Augusta, so help us out,” Seigler said.

The TEE Center’s main attraction is the 38,000 square feet of “big flat floor exhibit space” where trade shows and other exhibits can take place.

“This is a new and different product for the city,” she said. “We want people to use it, to enjoy it, and we want things to happen there,”

Over the past few years, more than 600 local residents have brought more than $237 million to the city by recommending their city as a place for their various groups to gather.

Augustans play an important role in demonstrating faith in the TEE Center, Seigler said, but the marketing campaign will also be cheerleading all over Georgia to groups looking for a place to meet.

More than nine trade shows are on the CVB’s agenda in upcoming months, and Seigler said they are excited about what Augusta can now offer because of the TEE Center.

The CVB will also be using its database of associations to re-recruit organizations who have outgrown Augusta’s existing meeting spaces but have enjoyed Augusta in the past.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

• The DDA approved a Georgia Cities Loan application for $250,000 by Matthew Lewis for his work renovating 864 Greene St. The project cost him $550,000.

• The DDA approved $7,000 for the Olde Town Neighborhood Association to put up gateway signs at the corners of Fourth and Broad streets, Fourth and Greene streets, East Boundary and Broad streets and East Boundary and Greene streets. The money was reallocated from leftover SPLOST funds in the Emporium Project.

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David Parker
7924
Points
David Parker 02/09/12 - 05:17 pm
0
0
Promote the space absolutely.

Promote the space absolutely. Promote the location location location just as much. Having a bang-zoom floor space that is flexible and available is great. If it's not a desireable destination to begin with then you're fighting an uphill battle. Make Augusta the destination that folks want to travel to and spend time in and the functions will come naturally. A wise man once said anyway.

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/09/12 - 07:09 pm
0
0
So we can start calculating

So we can start calculating the expenses of the TEE Center now:
$350 thousand.

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/09/12 - 07:33 pm
0
0
Siegler says in once place 4

Siegler says in once place 4 events are scheduled for the TEE. In another place she says 9 are coming. Heh. Does anyone actually know? She also says they will update their database of organizations who have come here in the past, but have outgrown the existing facilities. Pray tell, who that might me? Who has said that?

What she is talking about with getting locals involved is a classic tactic for convention centers in trouble booking events. The idea is to get locals to help by finding events and talking up the venue. I don't fault her for such a move, but I'm pointing out the lack of events coming.

Willow Bailey
20606
Points
Willow Bailey 02/09/12 - 07:52 pm
0
0
Filling the Tee Center or

Filling the Tee Center or coming up with solutions is not the responsibility of the citizenry.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 02/09/12 - 09:21 pm
0
0
What happened to what a
Unpublished

What happened to what a certain poster always tell us...build it and they will be lining up to book dates. Everyone wants to come here to see the riverwalk. What a joke.

dstewartsr
20394
Points
dstewartsr 02/09/12 - 09:37 pm
0
0
Where's the money coming from

Where's the money coming from for this ad campaign? The same source that paid for this albino pachyderm?

David Parker
7924
Points
David Parker 02/09/12 - 11:11 pm
0
0
Something about a dollar from

Something about a dollar from a hotel-motel tax to cover the campaign. i admit it's pretty bleak sounding without a single reservation until Jan 2013 yet they prepared to sink 350K to advertise it and at the same time counting on the public to fill it up.

I guess the problem with that is nobody asked the public if they had the time and energy to spearhead the take-off beforehand. If all she's suggesting is I tell 5 of my friends/family to tell 5 of theirs and so on? I'm not convinced that would translate to bookings. So what I get from it is that she wants people to take a vested interest. The best I can do is hope and channel my thoughts, as i have limited time to promote my own ideas. So it falls to those who have the resources, time, and motivation to step in and save it from "Regencifying". That's what she's looking for, in addition to the exponetial networking thing.

I want it to succeed and if I saw an opportunity to introduce it for something, i would put forth a genuine effort to sell the b-Jesus out of it. I just don't find myself in those types of circles often enough for there to be a realistic chance. It frustrates me though and I wish I did have better means to help.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 02/09/12 - 10:48 pm
0
0
When the TEE Center flops,

When the TEE Center flops, maybe we can throw some bars on it and fill it with the crooked politicians who built it.

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 03:27 am
0
0
Realize when we take the

Realize when we take the hotel tax to pay for such projects, that’s money that could go for police and infrastructure. Guests coming into town create a demand on our law enforcement and public facilities that the motel tax is designed to pay for. A few well connected folks have come up with this plan they say would bring tens of millions of dollars to Augusta with the TEE, but the problem is they did it with taxpayers money, not their own. The money for this Riverwalk project is mainly coming from the motels around I-20 and 520. That money could have gone for infrastructure in those areas.

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 03:28 am
0
0
I often and calmly detailed

I often and calmly detailed why convention centers fail before the TEE vote. I would look up any facts needed, but the faction pushed for the project near their property. Bonnie Rubin used her accounting expertise to explain why continuing to use the JB Arena was best. Dr. Heywood Sanders volunteered to come here and explain why the project would be a big mistake. It’s not a knock on Augusta, it’s simply the convention business is in decline with centers sitting empty. There are less convention goers, yet more convention space. 1 plus 1 equals 2.

countyman
22771
Points
countyman 02/10/12 - 03:35 am
0
0
The TEE Center will bring

The TEE Center will bring thousands of additonal people into the CBD.. The visitors end up staying in the hotels, shopping at local businesses, and dining in our downtown area...

I remember when people said the TEE Center would attract zero shows.. The number is now at four and continues to rise.. Soon they'll complain about having 7-8 shows booked..

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 03:36 am
0
0
It’s simply disheartening to

It’s simply disheartening to know Augusta threw away tens of millions when the evidence was there for all to see what the outcome would be.

An article in the Wall Street Journal on Dec. 31 again explains the fallacy of the convention center helping the economy. It's called "Have We Got a Convention Center to Sell You!"

Its says: "For two decades, America's convention center business has been declining, resulting in a nationwide surplus of empty meeting facilities, struggling convention halls and vacant hotel rooms."

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 04:07 am
0
0
Question for Ms Siegler. Is

Question for Ms Siegler. Is it true the TEE is waiving rental fees for any event that will come?

David Parker
7924
Points
David Parker 02/10/12 - 08:03 am
0
0
Depending on the rental fee

Depending on the rental fee question, I may have spoke too soon. Not that I could cause any windfall but I know some people that are organized, limited, but organized. The public should be in the loop with this kind of info, if it's accurate, especially if we are to be a factor in getting it rolling like noted.

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 02/10/12 - 08:38 am
0
0
When calls came for there to

When calls came for there to be clear rights of audit, tough definitions of allowable costs, and even allowance of open record requests for these deals using the public's money, there was a frantic push to cover this stinking mess up. Burying it in a land bank won't work. yeee-hawwww!!!

Where was the discussion of these things in the SimonizedBilly local Pravda?

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 09:20 am
0
0
How does this land bank thing

How does this land bank thing work with the bank's $7 million lien on the property? Who will now be guaranteeing the bank their money will be paid?

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 02/10/12 - 09:48 am
0
0
Solution: Why don't the Simon

Solution: Why don't the Simon Morris entities do what they promised from the outset - deed the land to the city themselves and take care of the liabilities that were hidden from the public that they had incurred before they made their promise. Why aren't the public's interests being protected by complete transparency? The times have changed and the old smokescreens of hiding behind rigidly-controlled media are over.

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 09:57 am
0
0
MA, it seems like even the

MA, it seems like even the Chronicle writers are acknowledging the donatation of the land was promised. That promise was instrumental in the whole deal. A verbal contract of sorts. So why isn't it being enforced?

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 02/10/12 - 10:06 am
0
0
Those interested shpuld look
Unpublished

Those interested shpuld look up the meaning of "land bank" in Georgia law. It is something for property with delinquint taxes. I remember a couple of years ago when old Barry was preaching that the TEE would bring in a $4k profit to the city every day 365 days a year. And where is this prophet of business? Why still drinking at the trough of the taxpayers. I wonder if we aren't in need of new management? Someone said it already - where is the money coming from? That was missing in the story. I did like the part about the DDA spending Splost miney though. Just another example of "Taxation without representation". Ever hear that phrase before?

Conservative Man
5611
Points
Conservative Man 02/10/12 - 10:50 am
0
0
I'm not down on the TEE

I'm not down on the TEE Center for it's own sake, but these things don't have the best of track records in markets the size of Augusta. I think my reservations lie in the way the whole deal was put together regarding the "shady" land deals underneath the Center..If it was such a great idea, why did those involved feel the need to do it all under th cover of darkness, out of sight of the public at large? After all WE are paying for right?
It better be a success or the parties involved in it's creation will have 50 mil. bucks worth of egg on their face and Augusta will have another white elephant on it's hands...

eb97
836
Points
eb97 02/10/12 - 11:45 am
0
0
@Conservative Man, I just

@Conservative Man, I just hope they have a large enough towel to wipe all that egg off because I believe they are going to need one.

eb97
836
Points
eb97 02/10/12 - 11:46 am
0
0
Hey, maybe we should make one

Hey, maybe we should make one for them and sell it to them for what this mess is going to cost the taxpayers.

Willow Bailey
20606
Points
Willow Bailey 02/10/12 - 12:47 pm
0
0
I can't remember the details

I can't remember the details behind Mayor Ed McEntyre's downfall... It did have something to do with land and kickbacks if I remember correctly. Not that there are any similar circumstances; just thinking about how easy it could be to get caught up in a mess in politics with so many others. I hope this gets cleared up and trust is restored.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 02/10/12 - 01:39 pm
0
0
so basically we are at almost
Unpublished

so basically we are at almost a 100 MILLION dollars for what was supposed to only cost 12 million....SOMEBODY GOT ULTRA RICH OFF THIS DEAL

Riverman1
110961
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 02:44 pm
0
0
Keep in mind another

Keep in mind another pertinent aspect when discussing new centers. Is an event something that has been here before using existing facilities? If so all you are doing is taking revenue from other local venues.

calculator25
0
Points
calculator25 02/10/12 - 02:47 pm
0
0
Since when does the CVB do

Since when does the CVB do the marketing for a privately owned and for profit hotel?
They are going to spend $350,000 to market the Marriott's TEE Center?
It's not the taxpayers TEE Center because only the Marriott stands to benefit from any business that books at the TEE Center....let's not overlook that very important fact.
How are the taxpayers ever going to get a return on their investment?
Isn't it enough that the hotel folks are getting PAID to manage their FREE
gift...now they will also use the resources of the Convention and Visitors Bureau to help sell their free gift.
Wake up everyone.....
This boondoogle with never make a penny for anyone except the owners of the hotel it is attached to....and now they have the nerve to ask the community to help sell the place.

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 02/10/12 - 03:15 pm
0
0
They never remotely dreamed

They never remotely dreamed they would get caught. Now they are going to be hammered relentlessly. Closed books won't fly.

dstewartsr
20394
Points
dstewartsr 02/10/12 - 03:51 pm
0
0
MA, they may be hammered, but

MA, they may be hammered, but putting on my Karnak the Great turban, I predict no one goes to jail (as they probably should for malfeasance) and many will proceed to the bank and collect more than $200.

Conservative Man
5611
Points
Conservative Man 02/10/12 - 04:06 pm
0
0
dst....don't be so

dst....don't be so sure...this ain't over. Not by a long shot...

countyman
22771
Points
countyman 02/10/12 - 05:26 pm
0
0
What cost $100 million

What cost $100 million dollars?? What was suppose to cost only $12 million?? The splost vote in 2005 approved $20 million, and the TEE Center broke ground in 2010($38 million investment) on Reynolds street..

People attending events need hotel rooms and humans get hungry after several hours.. Visitors usually tend to leave the hotel and walk around the immediate area.. I'm positive many people other than the Marriott will benefit from the TEE Center...

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