The February 2021 Board Meeting can be downloaded for viewing here:
Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
Board of Directors Meeting
February 22, 2021 – 2:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Courtney Cacatian, Elizabeth Cromwell, Chris Engel, Chris Eure, Heather Hill, George Hodson, Roger Johnson, Pace Lochte, Ann Mallek, Diantha McKeel, Gary Sandling, Gabe Silver, Nikuyah Walker
ABSENT: Chip Boyles, Jennifer Mayo, Jeff Richardson
ALSO ATTENDING: Richard DeLoria, Scott Hamler, Jawara King
1. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Roger Johnson called the meeting to order at 2:04 PM.
- Virtual Meeting Preamble and Roll Call: Chairman Roger Johnson invited Richard DeLoria to read the Virtual Meeting Preamble and perform the roll call.
- Election of Officers: Roger asked for input on the election of officers. A motion was made to continue with Roger as Chair and Chris Engel as Vice Chair A vote of consensus established Roger Johnson as Chair and Chris Engel as Vice Chair.
- Establish Meeting Schedule: Roger asked for input on the meeting schedule. A motion was made to adopt the schedule for 2021 and a vote of consensus established the schedule.
- Rules and Procedures: Roger proposed a formal establishment of the rules and procedures as part of the Board’s bylaws. A motion was made to adopt the rules and procedures, and a vote of consensus formally established the rules and procedures.
- Consent Agenda: Roger asked for input on the consent agenda. A motion was made to approve the consent agenda, and the consent agenda was approved. Roger turned it over to Executive Director Courtney Cacatian for the Director’s Report.
- Director’s Report: Courtney Cacatian presented the Director’s Report, which included a) Destination Analysts Data; b) Employment and Economic Data; c) SIR and MMGY Data; d) Black Tourism Presentation; e) Highlights; f) Hotel Performance and ADARA data; g) Marketing and PR Update; h) Destination Sales; i) Visitor Services Update; j) FY2022 Budget.
- Destination Analysts Data: Courtney presented data from Destination Analysts. Expectations regarding the severity of the pandemic are more optimistic and openness to travel inspiration is on the rise. Potential visitors’ recall of destination advertisements from the past month is also on the rise. The trends show that vaccines will impact travel and outdoor recreation is one of the top trip experiences of importance.
- Employment and Economic Data: Courtney presented unemployment and economic data from both the state and Charlottesville City/Albemarle County. Courtney explained how the CACVB’s efforts supports many sectors of the economy and gave a high-level overview of the transient occupancy tax. Courtney highlighted that destinations are entering into a time of heightened competition as visitors start looking forward to traveling.
- SIR and MMGY Data: Courtney presented SIR and MMGY data, which showed hurdles for prospective visitors and opportunities for growth, including reaching the Black or African American traveler.
- Black Tourism Presentation: Courtney introduced Scott Hamler and Jawara King for the Black Tourism Presentation. Scott and Jae presented on the work that they have been doing with the community to boost Black experiences.
- Highlights: Courtney gave an overview of recent highlights, which included hiring Chris Ridder as Travel Specialist and doing a team building with the whole staff, being accepted as one of the first 10 DMOs for VTc’s DRIVE 2.0 initiative, moving into the Faulconer Dr office, moving the Arts initiative to the fall, and meeting with the City Historic Resources staff.
- Hotel Performance and ADARA Data: Courtney presented a few charts indicating hotel performance and the ADARA Site Impact data.
- Marketing and PR Update: Courtney gave an update on the Marketing and PR efforts. Advertising has been continuous since June 2020 and the CACVB is creating a robust advertising plan for the spring. The new visitor guide is being finalized and there is weekly content on the blog. Courtney presented data on the clickthrough rate, the cost per click, and website traffic comparison for 2019 and 2020. The website visitation trends reflect advertising spend. The CACVB will be the first DMO to partner with VTC for the Black Travel Digital Sessions, which will allow the CACVB to speak to Black content creators about what Charlottesville/Albemarle has to offer.
- Destination Sales: Courtney presented the work that Teresa Lamb has done, including the first booking, a virtual FAM for 50 group planners, working closely with hotels to develop group amenities information sheets, developing a closer relationship with UVA, planning to attend tradeshows, and booking the NCAA Cross Country National Championship for November 2023.
- Visitor Services Update: Courtney presented data from the Visitor Services team. Visitor Services have been using the transition period to onboard Chris, go on FAM tours, move offices, and continue to serve visitors. The Mobile Visitor Centers will be upfit when the parts arrive in about 2-3 weeks.
- FY2022 Budget: Before Courtney presented the budget, Chris Engel gave an overview of a letter from the VRLTA detailing concerns about funding and representation on the Board. Courtney presented the budget. The Paycheck Protection Program may be applicable to the CACVB in the future, but currently there has not been precedent for a quasi-governmental organization applying for PPP funding. Next year’s budget will decrease by 21%, operations expenditures will decrease by 35%, and advertising/marketing will decrease by 26%. Courtney shared the option of using the fund balance for this upcoming fiscal year towards recovery. The Board discussed the option and asked for comparative budgets. A motion was made to approve the budget as is and the budget was approved.
- Board Development Committee: Heather Hill presented a Board Development Committee proposal to the Board, which would work to focus on exploring industry representation and equity, diversity, and inclusion of the Board. The Board discussed the option of creating a committee and no motion was made.
- Board Announcements: Ann Mallek gave an update on the Blue Ridge Tunnel.
Chairman Roger Johnson adjourned the meeting at 3:45 PM