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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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Many Arrows
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Many Arrows 02/10/12 - 05:37 pm
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County, $38 million for Tee,

County, $38 million for Tee, $12 MM for deck, $37 MM for Laney Walker. Throw in the obligatory change orders and you are looking dead at $100 million.

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 02/10/12 - 05:51 pm
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Bear in mind, Countyman makes

Bear in mind, Countyman makes Pollyanna look like the grinch when it comes to Augusta. You can look directly at the sun using his rose coloured glasses.

Conservative Man
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Conservative Man 02/10/12 - 05:58 pm
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Factor in that Fred Russell

Factor in that Fred Russell just admitted that no one (land bank or Wells Fargo) knew of the deal that just was used to push through the management deal. Basically it was all a ruse. Not to mention the possible violation of "open meeting" laws.....the plot thickens...

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/10/12 - 07:49 pm
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It looks like with the

It looks like with the hundreds of thousands more now being thrown at the TEE marketing show the costs are not over yet. Does the CVB ever spend money promoting the other hotels in the county? Or do they work exclusively for the Marriott?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/10/12 - 08:12 pm
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Let me explain what happens

Let me explain what happens when the first event finally comes to the TEE in 2013. It’s the Georgia Urban Housing Association thing (I forget the exact name). That organization has been here in the past using other hotels in town and renting existing facilities.

The next time the organization comes and uses the TEE the other hotels lose the business they previously shared. This time it will all be the Marriott which is associated with all the LLC’s in question as we all know.

The CVB now appears to only be in the business of steering organizations from existing settings and hotels to something that only benefits one company. Let’s not sacrifice the entire county trying to salvage the New Regency Mall on the River for one company/individual.

Many Arrows
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Many Arrows 02/10/12 - 11:29 pm
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This is plain comical.

This is plain comical.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/11/12 - 08:52 am
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Not only have we given a

Not only have we given a privately owned hotel a $65 million dollar gift with no strings attached, THEY get the buildings for free then use their value to obtain a $7 million loan. How do you think the other hotel owners in the county feel?

Whoever heard of giving a privately owned hotel a $65 million dollar gift with so strings attached? Then because the building is constructed the owners of the land get a $7 million loan? Ha..is this crazy or what? And the bank releasing the lien...huh? Why do banks release liens? Has the tax exempt status been jeopardized?

Maybe it will be like the 1st parking deck where the same couple bought most of the tax exempt bonds issued to finance the project. So you get the parking now, you get tax exempt interest and a security interest in the gift that was built for your exclusive use. You loan the city the money to build your parking deck...they pay the costs of maintaining it, you get to use it, it's built on your land, and now you even get tax exempt income on money that you might have had to use to pay for the property if someone hadn't given it to you for free. Are we in the Twilight Zone?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/11/12 - 09:12 am
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I want to clarify something.

I want to clarify something. Joe Bowles, he's an accountant right? And I'm just an "internet poster always complaining and never offering solutions."

Did Commissioner Joe Bowles (he's an accountant) comment on any of the above points before? All I remember him saying was the Fort Discovery sale was imminent, thus couldn't be used for a TEE Center. Then he voted for the construction of the TEE next to the Marriott.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/11/12 - 09:29 am
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I bet the Marriott would love

I bet the Marriott would love to bring events to the TEE without them having to pay rent for the meeting room. All the convention goers would have to pay is for their rooms. Who could think of such a sweet deal?

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