In The News

Real Stories, real people, real exciting.

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With more than 37 million visitors each year, San Antonio is destination worth visiting. We have it all. Browse our blog entries to get to know us better and scroll through our accolades below to see what others are saying about our destination.

IN THE NEWS

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San Antonio (September 1, 2020) – San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is the first airport in the world to purchase and employ the Xenex LightStrike robot – the only ultraviolet (UV) room disinfection technology proven to deactivate SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.  

“The health and safety of our employees and passengers has always been our number-one priority,” said Jesus Saenz, Jr., Director of Airports for the City of San Antonio.  “The acquisition of the Xenex LightStrike robot is just the latest innovative enhancement to our daily operations and efforts to ensure that traveling through San Antonio International Airport is the easiest and safest experience passengers can encounter.” 

The LightStrike robot incorporates cutting-edge technology through bursts of intense UV light to destroy hard-to-kill viruses and bacteria found in common places and hard-to-clean spaces.  SAT is the first airport to deploy LightStrike robot technology from Xenex – a renowned world-leader in infection prevention and disinfection technology.  LightStrike technology is used in healthcare facilities to destroy microscopic pathogens often found on high-touch surfaces that can cause healthcare associated infections.  In testing performed at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute – one of the world’s leading independent research institutes working exclusively on infectious disease – the LightStrike robot destroyed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in two minutes.  SAT is now bringing this same level of disinfection to the commercial airport industry.  

“COVID-19 nearly caused the aviation industry to stop in its tracks,” said Dr. Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Xenex.  “Planning for the disinfection of public spaces – especially commercial airports – is a major priority to reduce the risk of disease transmission.  Putting an effective infection prevention infrastructure in place is essential, and we are proud to partner with San Antonio International Airport in leading the aviation industry in this effort.”

Using environmentally-friendly pulsed xenon, the portable LightStrike can disinfect an area in less than 10-15 minutes without warm-up or cool-down time.  This will allow the quick and easy deployment of the LightStrike robot to disinfect high-traffic areas without a disruption to passengers.  Operated by the airport’s terminal services staff, it can be used anywhere in the airport – to include jet bridges, gate areas, ticketing counters, baggage claim, concessions, elevators and restrooms – where there are high-touch surfaces or high volumes of traffic.

In 2012, the city of San Antonio recruited Xenex’s headquarters and manufacturing operations from Austin to San Antonio.  Since that time, and with the city’s support, Xenex has continued to grow and has established itself as a world-leader in mobile, UV disinfection technology.  “I am excited to see the use of innovative technology at the airport to address the ever-evolving challenges in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.  “Our aviation team’s forward-looking moves, such as using this UV disinfection technology and partnering with San Antonio-based Xenex, will position our city well for economic growth now and in the years to come.”  

“Our goal is to provide the safest environment for our passengers.  We already have a comprehensive sanitization and disinfection process in place,” said Saenz.  “We are excited to add the LightStrike to our current health enhancements to complement our sanitation stations, social distancing measures and other safety protocols.  We are proud to be a leader in the aviation industry when it comes to health and safety, and to be the first airport to employ the LightStrike.”

The airport plans to hold a city-wide naming contest to name the LightStrike Robot.  The naming contest will be a part of the airport’s social media efforts designed to restore consumer confidence in commercial air travel and reduce fears of contracting COVID-19 while at the airport.   

For more information on the airport’s health and safety protocols, visit www.Flysantonio.com.  

To schedule a demonstration, contact Rich Stinson at rich.stinson@sanantonio.gov

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San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City

San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country with a vibrant business climate and a ‘AAA’ general obligation bond rating from all three major rating agencies. San Antonio is a city that nurtures entrepreneurship, encourages investment and funds infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. In 2018, the city celebrates its 300th anniversary, honoring its rich past and a bright future focused on innovation and livability. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.

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On August 13, The Witte Museum and Visit San Antonio, along with PSAV, hosted a fun and educational lunch and learn titled “Dressing for the Job.” Demonstrations by the talented Vaquero Josh include the practical and protective uses for chaps, boots, hats, bandanas and more. It is fun for the whole family! In case you missed it, we invite you to view it below.

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On July 23, Visit San Antonio joined the team at Pedrotti’s Ranch, along with PSAV, for a bourbon fueled cooking demo. This savory lunch and learn featured everything you need to know about grilling the perfect burger as well as how to make your own butter-bourbon glazed grilled peaches and a signature cocktail called Hill Country Dreaming.  In case you missed it, we invite you to view it below and try creating your own at home. Tag us in your creations at Twitter, @MeetinSA.

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On June 3, Marriott and Visit San Antonio, along with PSAV, hosted a virtual cooking class to share some of the fantastic flavors of San Antonio. Accomplished Marriott Chefs Brett Rea and Benjamin Annotti showed our friends how to make Marriott’s Pan Roasted Tomato Tartine and Rose’ + Grapefruit Spritz. In case you missed it, we invite you to view it below and try creating your own at home. Tag us in your creations at Twitter, @MeetinSA.

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Visit our Destination Experience Pinterest Boards for planning inspiration for your next San Antonio event. From catering ideas, to venue suggestions and decorating fun, our boards are sure to inspire your creative thinking. And don’t forget our expert Destination Experience Team is here to help as well. Please reach out to us for anything you may need to help make your San Antonio event a success!

Visit https://www.pinterest.com/visitsanantonio/destination-experience

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We snagged a few moments with Kristy Hernandez, one of the Visit San Antonio Destination Sales Managers. She gave us the inside scoop on where to get a great margarita in town and why San Antonio is the perfect spot for your next fiesta!

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Kristy with her fur-baby, Lucy!

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

KH: I have lived in San Antonio for almost my ENTIRE life! I did live in Austin during my college days (Go Horns!!) and a few other cities when I was younger.

As someone who’s a born and bred San Antonio-an, why have you stayed?:

KH: I absolutely LOVE San Antonio!  I have always wanted to live somewhere beautiful, friendly and rich in culture. San Antonio checks all of those boxes and my family lives here, so it is the perfect fit!  

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you handle?

KH: I handle site visits for all markets, and have the pleasure of working closely with our Sales Managers in San Antonio, D.C., Chicago, Florida and Dallas.  

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

KH: The people. Visit San Antonio is a lovely little work family. I enjoy coming to work every day and I have fun while working. It is the perfect combination.

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

KH: San Antonio is such a wonderful place and we will welcome you with open arms every time you visit. There is so much to do here for everyone. We also have the friendliest people here, which is a huge plus! 

When you’re not busy showing off the city, what do you like to do in your free time?

KH: When I have some free time, I love relaxing at home with my family, friends and my fur-baby, Lucy! I also love to go walking along the Museum Reach section of the River Walk, it’s so calming.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

KH: Beautiful. Friendly. FIESTA!   

Now for a few speed round questions:

Red Salsa or Green Salsa?

KH: Red.

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

KH: This is so difficult, because everything is my favorite! I love Mi Tierra’s bakery and their decorations are gorgeous. When people visit they MUST the get a cocktail at Sternewirth inside of Hotel Emma and a margarita on the patio at La Gloria (the Mangonada is my favorite)! I love the San Antonio Zoo (Did you know you can feed the giraffes?!) and SeaWorld (Aquatica water park is so fun!). I also never skip out on a chance to sing with my friends at Howl at the Moon – they know how to throw a party. I truly could talk for hours, but I’ll stop here.

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Kristy, or sing the night away at piano bar with her? Reach out via email – KristyHernandez@visitsanantonio.com.   

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 10, 2019) – The public-private nonprofit Visit San Antonio, the sales and marketing arm for the City of San Antonio, has been selected by its employees as a Top Workplace for 2019, it was announced today.

The organization was recognized at an awards luncheon held at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa, and will be showcased along with other winners in a Top Workplaces special section to be published in the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday, Oct. 13. The newspaper sponsors and announces the annual awards.

“The fact that this award is given out based on the responses of employees makes it particularly special,” said VIA Metropolitan President & CEO, Jeffrey C. Arndt, chairman of the Visit San Antonio Board of Directors. “It is the organization’s staff that is the foundation of everything it does, and this recognition reflects the familial atmosphere that exists at Visit San Antonio.”

This is the 11th year for the Express-News to team up with Workplace Dynamics, an independent search firm, to recognized the best places to work in the San Antonio area. Winning employers are chosen through employee surveys on a variety of workplace topics. Survey results are then verified by an independent organization.

“Visit San Antonio takes great pride in its ability to attract and retain top talent,” said Casandra Matej, President & CEO for Visit San Antonio. “We always say that we sell fun in San Antonio, which is one of the country’s truly authentic and wonderful destinations, and that we have fun doing it. We take great pride in the work we do, but we also truly enjoy each other and this organization.”

Visit San Antonio, which includes 87 employees, works daily to position San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. The city welcomes 39 million visitors a year as part of a tourism and hospitality industry that generates $15.2 billion in economic impact.

For more information on the organization and San Antonio as a destination, visit www.VisitSanAntonio.com.

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Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead” is a tradition-filled, lively celebration of deceased loved ones. The spirit of this tradition lives throughout San Antonio through vibrant events for all. 

Explore fall in San Antonio with incredible music, art and culture. Experience events like SeaWorld San Antonio’s Howl-O-Scream & Spooktacular, Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ Fright Fest, new exhibits at cultural institutions like The Witte Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art and more. 

Enjoy a fall adventure full of surprises. Escape for a couple’s getaway in San Antonio, showcasing our rich culture and thriving culinary scene. 

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San Antonio (September 26, 2019) – San Antonio International Airport (SAT) was pleased to learn that it earned a sixth-place finish in the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.SM SAT was the only Texas airport to receive high scores in the Medium Airport Statistics Index Ranking.

SAT achieved a ranking of #6 with a total of 813 points.  This is a significant improvement from #13 and 785 points in 2018. For greater context, overall passenger satisfaction with North American airports has risen only a single point (on a 1,000 point scale) year over year, according to JD Power.

“This is impressive, very impressive,” said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio.  “Just last year we were ranked thirteenth in this study and now we have moved into the sixth position.  That is a significant jump and it shows that all of our new initiatives to make flying easier are beginning to pay off, and our passengers are noticing.”

The study, which is now in its fourteenth year, measures overall traveler satisfaction and tracks data by looking at six factors:

  • Terminal Facilities
  • Airport Accessibility
  • Baggage Claim
  • Security Check
  • Check-in/Baggage Check
  • Food, Beverage and Retail

Travelers were asked a series of questions and based on the data collected, San Antonio International Airport scored very high in the following categories:

  • Attractiveness of Airport Grounds
  • Ease of Arriving and Leaving Both Terminals
  • Amount of Time Required for Security Check-in
  • Cleanliness of Baggage Area
  • Traffic Flow at Check-in/Baggage Area
  • Cleanliness of Terminal Concourses and Hallways
  • Ease of Getting to Gate
  • WiFi Service
  • Clarity of Signs/Directions
  • Ease of Arriving to the Terminal
  • Courtesy of Restaurant Staff
  • Timeliness of Orders
  • Cleanliness of Restaurants

Constantly seeking new ways to improve and enhance the passenger experience, SAT has implemented a number of noticeable enhancements to the airport over the past two years, and this significant increase in passenger ranking indicates the enhancements have been well received by the traveling public. Among the many passenger enhancements are SAT Live and The Galleries at SAT – two new programs that feature musicians and artists with local, regional and national appeal – designed not only to reflect the sounds, sights and culture of San Antonio, but to make the entire travelling experience pleasant and stress-free.  New terminal and garage wayfinding, such as the park assist technology in the short term garage and increased signage, makes arriving and maneuvering through the airport and terminal much faster and easier.  Other  features designed to make flying easier for passengers with special needs include free AIRA service to assist passengers will visual impairments, increasing the number of ADA parking spaces – to exceed what is mandated by law – to serve a large passenger base requiring accessible parking, and translation services for international travelers.   

“This ranking is a great honor, as it recognizes our collective efforts to provide the best passenger experience possible,” said Karen D. Ellis, Chief Customer Experience Officer.  “We want everything associated with flying to be easier at San Antonio – what we call from bedside to planeside – from start to finish and everything in between, we want flying through San Antonio to be the simplest, fastest and most enjoyable experience possible.  This ranking shows us that our passengers are noticing and appreciate our efforts.”   

Ellis says plans are already underway “to add an interactive and educational play area – or  KidZone – for kids; curbside valet parking service; a brand new airport website that is more user friendly, and more food, beverage and retail options that will add both national brand favorites and local flare – all designed to continue to make the customer experience stress free, entertaining and even more enjoyable.”

“We are very excited with a ranking of 6th – and we are very confident that our plans for continuous improvement will produce an even higher ranking next year,” said Handy. 

J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. Rankings are based on numerical scores, and not necessarily on statistical significance.

For more information on this report or to schedule an interview, please contact Tonya Hope at 210-207-1515.

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San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City

San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country, nurturing entrepreneurship, encouraging investment and funding infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers a vibrant business climate and growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.

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We sat down to talk with Donna Stachowiak, who was recently named Services Manager of the Year by Visit San Antonio. Donna is the Conference Services Manager for Omni La Mansion Del Rio and Mokara Hotel & Spa. Donna is truly a master in the field of services and an asset to San Antonio’s hospitality industry, but we wanted to get to know her a little better and find out more about her love for San Antonio.

2019 Visit San Antonio Services Manager of the Year, Donna Stachowiak with Omni Hotels and Resorts Area Managing Director, Rusty Wallace & Visit San Antonio President/CEO, Casandra Matej. 

How long have you lived in San Antonio?

DS: I moved to San Antonio in 1981, so I’ve been here for a long time now!

Why did you move to San Antonio?

DS: I came to San Antonio to attend Trinity University (Go Tigers!), where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. I was planning to go to law school, even though I always had the desire to work in hotel. When I was a kid, I thought that working at a hotel was glamorous and exciting due to the old television show, “Hotel.”

How did you get your start in the hospitality industry?

DS: I owe my start in the hospitality industry to Trinity. I worked in the Office of Conferences and Special Programs my senior year and ended up changing my career aspirations to meeting and event planning. We held conferences on campus in the summer for groups of 50 to 2000 persons. During the Academic year we worked with Trinity faculty on special programs and ran continuing education meetings on campus. I loved planning – it simply fun and rewarding. My supervisor at Trinity, Ann Knoebel, knew that eventually I wanted to transition from university conference planning to the hotel industry, and she helped make that dream happen for me by connecting me with her industry contacts. I was fortunate to start my hotel career with Omni and I quickly learned that when you start your career with the best hotel company around, there’s no need to leave!

What do you love about working for Omni La Mansion and Mokara Hotel & Spa and servicing the properties’ clients?

DS: I love the history of both Omni La Mansion and the Mokara Hotel and Spa, as well as the challenge of working at two hotels. Each hotel is unique and special in its own way and I get to share that with my conference and meeting groups. It’s quite rewarding to be there at the beginning of the planning stages and see an event through to a successful end. Our guests leave with wonderful memories of their time in San Antonio and their stay at our hotel. When a guest has an issue, it’s gratifying to help solve their problem and make their experience better. Each day is unique in the hotel industry and that is what makes it fun. Everyone is committed to doing the best job possible.  

You have a free Saturday, where in the city would we find you?

DS: I’ll be at Friendly Spot enjoying their amazing sangria, floating the Comal River, browsing antique shops and thrift shops all over San Antonio and the surrounding towns, trying new restaurants, and just spending time with my friends.

Congratulations to Donna on being named Visit San Antonio’s 2019 Services Manager of the Year! San Antonio could not continue to provide a phenomenal client and attendee experience without the help of great partners like Donna.

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We sat down to chat with Molly Hernandez, one of our Destination Experience Managers, to talk about her favorite places to enjoy happy hour and why San Antonio is the perfect place to host an event.

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Molly & John.

When did you move to San Antonio? Why did you move here?

MH: 5 years ago. I graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2014 and signed a contract to work for the University of Texas at San Antonio starting in August!

What sets the San Antonio meeting experience apart from that of other destinations?

MH: We are a big city that has a small-town vibe. I love that as we continue to grow and progress as a destination, we still keep our culture and history at heart.

What do you love about working at Visit San Antonio?

MH: We get to bring people to experience our city and showcase everything we have to offer while working around like-minded people.

Now for a few speed round questions:

On the Rocks or Frozen? (Margaritas)
MH: Frozen.

You have a free Saturday, where will we find you?

MH: I like to spend time in the RIM. Drinks at the Rustic is one of my favorite things and they have a great happy hour. I also enjoy hiking and spending time at Pearl.

If you had to give meeting attendees three reasons to come to San Antonio for a meeting/event, what would you say?

MH: Culture. Culinary. Hospitality.

Want to find the next unique activity for your upcoming San Antonio meeting or need advice on where to hike the trails? Email her.

Keep your eyes peeled to meet the rest of the Destination Experience team but in the meantime start exploring San Antonio: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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SAN ANTONIO (June 11, 2019) – Visit San Antonio has been named a 2019 Smart Stars Award Winner in the category of Best Convention Center or Destination Marketing Organization by Smart Meetings. The prestigious awards platform, now in its eighth year, celebrates meeting planners’ choices for hotels, resorts, properties, cruise lines and conference and convention centers worldwide.

Ranked against hundreds of exceptional peers, the award-winning properties and destinations were hand selected by Smart Meetings’ audience of meeting professionals in 35 distinguished categories, all critical to the success of their meetings and events.

Since its inception, the Smart Stars Awards have gained notoriety as an essential tool for today’s meeting planner community and a valuable resource for those who need recommendations of leading venues and destinations. These remarkable hospitality brands continue to reflect the highest standards of excellence in service, amenities and customer satisfaction.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Smart Meetings and meeting professionals with the Smart Stars Award,” said President & CEO of Visit San Antonio Casandra Matej. “This notable accolade is a testament to the passion, dedication and creativity of the Visit San Antonio team, and our commitment to world-class customer service.”

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About Visit San Antonio

Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 37 million visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $15.2 billion into the local economy and employing more than 140,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com.

Media Contact:    

Megan Lagrone
Visit San Antonio
MeganLagrone@VisitSanAntonio.com
(210) 244-2084

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Check out The Witte Museum and Survival: The Exhibition. Experience the Texas Folklife Festival. Explore our Spanish missions, Texas’ first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

New thrills await like Riptide Rescue, Sea Swinger and Turtle Reef at SeaWorld San Antonio and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Plus, don’t miss the excitement of Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ all-new ride, The Joker: Carnival of Chaos, coming soon. 

Check out what locals recommend to see and do and schedule your summer adventure right now.

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We sat down with Guy Doria, one of Visit San Antonio’s Destination Experience Managers to chat about his time in San Antonio and some of the best things he has helped plan for groups.

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Where are you from? How long have you lived in San Antonio and why did you move here?

GD: I am originally from Hawaii and have lived all over the world. My wife wanted to move to San Antonio, and we did. We’ve lived here for 780 days!

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

GD: I enjoy working with our internal Destination Experience and Engagement team, as well as our partners and clients.  

Tell us about one of the more unique group activities that you’ve helped plan.

GD: We planned a 1927-era Speakeasy for a Board of Director’s dinner. The attendees and staff were in period dress. We transported the guest in 1920’s cars to Zinc and once they arrived, they were met by a 300lb doorman asking them for the password to gain access. The scene was set with gangster Big Ed and his Moll as the evening’s hosts, which included dinner, dancing and games. At the end of the evening, we had police officers waiting to take each of the guests in the paddy wagon, of course we included a Jimmy Olsen-style photographer to snap a photo of each couple before they were transported to the slammer (their hotel). The next morning, each couple received a copy of the San Antonio Daily with their arrest photo and the accompanying story to celebrate the Association’s 75th Anniversary!

Now for a few speed round questions:

Breakfast or Brunch?

GD: Breakfast.

On the Rocks or Frozen?

GD: On the Rocks

Give attendees three reasons to come to a meeting/event in San Antonio.

GD: The people, the place and the positive experience. Visiting San Antonio will add years onto your life!

Plan your next themed event by emailing Guy.

Keep your eyes peeled to meet the rest of the Destination Experience team but in the meantime start exploring San Antonio: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to sit down for a chat with some of Visit San Antonio’s female leaders to get to know them a little better and see what advice they had for the next generation of great meetings, conventions and destination rock stars. We caught up with Casandra Matej, our President & CEO, Michelle Moon, Director of Destination Experience, Alysia Roden, Associate Director of Sales, and Shauna Goodman, Associate Director of Destination Experience.

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How did you get your start in the hospitality and tourism industry?

Casandra: An entry-level position in the hospitality industry was the foundation for my career. After graduating from the University of Texas in Austin, I joined what was then the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. In this role, I gained my first experience with hotels, CVBs and meeting planning. Later in my career, I had the opportunity to work with Hyatt Hotels and Starwood Hotels and Resorts and learn from great leaders at those companies before eventually going on to serve as senior vice-president of sales and services for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. These diverse industry experiences were crucial in preparing me for my current role.

Michelle: I started my career in the tourism industry when I was a college student in the late 90’s through various facets. For two summers I managed conference housing for the Oklahoma Medial Research Foundation, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre Association, and the OCU Nigerian Law Conference at Oklahoma City University. During this timeframe I also served as the Box Office Manager for the American Spirit Dance Company’s “Home for the Holidays” production with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra and Spring Show. This early exposure in the industry offered me a valuable foundation for what would be a 20+ year career thus far in the meetings and event industry supporting travel and tourism in San Antonio.

Alysia: I happened into the travel and tourism space by accident. A friend told me about an entry level sales opportunity at a CVB/DMO, which at the time I knew nothing about, but it sounded like a promising job. I applied, received the position, and 15 years later I can’t imagine doing anything else!

Shauna: I was working in economic development, and I got to experience the true intersection of tourism and economic growth. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the tourism/hospitality industry in San Antonio employs 1 out of every 7 workers. This interest in economic growth for our city through tourism/hospitality drove my interest in this space and lead me to apply at Visit San Antonio.

What accomplishment from your time in the industry are you most proud of?

Casandra: I’m proud of our organization’s evolution from the former Convention & Visitors Bureau to Visit San Antonio, a public-private nonprofit. With this shift, we are more streamlined and can serve our customers in a more efficient and impactful manner. In concert with this shift, our city has also made major upgrades to the Henry B. González Convention Center and the Alamodome, and we’ve formed more meaningful relationships with community partners, all designed to provide a better experience to our clients. 

Michelle: The most remarkable accomplishment for me is my role as a working mom in a fast-paced, demanding and exciting industry. Personal and professional life balance is an intricate game of give and take. I have been able to work alongside many amazing female peers on the opening launch of a new world-class performing arts center, serve as Vice-Chair of an international non-profit board, and play a role with many high profile events, like the Final Four in 2018, due to the partnership that my husband and I have at home. My most rewarding moments are serving as a role model for my two young daughters (age 6 and 10) while teaching them the importance of staying involved and engaged with their local community and network.

Alysia: When one of my groups is meeting in San Antonio, I love to see the attendees enjoying downtown.  I get to see the economic impact of the work the Visit San Antonio team does and how it positively affects our community including hotels, restaurants, shopping and attraction partners. I’m proud to have a part in driving impact.    

Shauna: I am very new to the industry, but in the short exposure I have had I am very proud of the services that Visit San Antonio provides their clients. Awesome customer service is sometimes becoming a thing of the past and I feel confident that Visit San Antonio does an incredible job making our clients feel like the most important person in our city. The attention to detail, 5-star hospitality, incredible partner connections and overall willingness to go the extra mile is what makes clients come back year after year to our great city. I’m so proud to be a part of the team that executes this level of hospitality.

What traits do you think define a great leader?

Casandra: I think it all starts with communication, honesty and the ability and willingness to share vision. To work with a sense of clarity, trust and responsibility is imperative, whether dealing with my internal team or external customers. And, at Visit San Antonio, one of our core values is that We Share, in order to be successful as an organization, you need to share with one another which starts with the leader.

Michelle: Great leaders are defined by their ability to understand the motivation of their team members and the ability to help break down barriers to ensure the team achieves greater success. A leader’s role is to be an advocate for their team and to lead by example. Clear and concise communication skills are imperative traits for great leaders.

Alysia: Great leaders need to be compassionate and charismatic while also pursuing their visions with passion and integrity.

Shauna: You have to be adaptable to any situation thrown at you, while also showing compassion. We all want our leaders to be trustworthy and relatable while balancing innovation at the heart of everything.

Do you have any advice for the next generation of women in the industry?

Casandra: Be passionate. Be driven to succeed. Command respect from everyone around you. And, hey, it’s the tourism and hospitality industry. We sell fun, and we have fun doing it. Don’t forget to show what you can do rather than tell what you can do. And lastly, build a network of support.

Michelle: The best advice I would impart to the new generation of women is to lift each other up with positive words of encouragement, to connect, and to never stop sharing knowledge and information with one another. We possess a mighty voice and are a strong force in our industry. Together, we will achieve great things!

Alysia: Work hard for what you want, be passionate about your goals and find a network of mentors and friends to cheer you on.

Shauna: Don’t be afraid to talk about your strengths and how you will amplify those strengths in your current role. Too many companies spend a lot of time focusing on an individual’s weaknesses and not growing their strengths.

Have questions for some of Visit San Antonio’s leading ladies? Reach out and start the planning for your next meeting or event.

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We caught up with Karen Bippert, one of our Destination Experience Managers here at Visit San Antonio to chat about her love for the Alamo City and what her favorite Saturday activities are.

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Karen & Eli at Día de los Muertos Celebrations.

When did you move to San Antonio? Why did you move here?

KB: I moved to San Antonio 13 years ago from Somerset, a small town just south of San Antonio. San Antonio has always felt like a home away from home, and the tacos are a HUGE plus.

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

KB: I have such a fun job! I have the opportunity to showcase our beautiful city to folks from out of town on a daily basis. My favorite thing is taking our Visit San Antonio clients to my favorite restaurants, attractions, hidden gems, and sharing all things SA.

What sets the San Antonio meeting experience apart from that of other destinations?

KB: We just get it. By we, I mean our partners at the Convention Center, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and museum and attraction staff members, all truly understand the importance of creating a great meeting experience for our guests. We want our attendees to return so we do our best to provide an unforgettable experience.

Now for a few speed round questions:

On the Rocks or Frozen? (Margaritas)
KB: Frozen.

“I had no idea San Antonio was home to…”

KB: Joan Crawford! She was born here in 1905.

You have a free Saturday, where will we find you?

KB: I try to start my Saturdays at the Pearl Farmer’s Market. I begin the trip with breakfast at Bakery Lorraine, specifically one of their homemade pop pastries (their take on the PopTart). Then I like to pick up fresh veggies and a little pesto from Humble House Foods, which I will use to whip up dinner later. After, since I’m so close to downtown, I may hop over to Hemisfair, grab a scooter and take a trip to Blue Star, exploring the beautiful King William’s historic homes along the way.

Want to find the next unique activity for your upcoming San Antonio meeting or just want to ask Karen what her favorite recipes to create using local goods? Email her.

Keep your eyes peeled to meet the rest of the Destination Experience team but in the meantime start exploring San Antonio: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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San Antonio (March 6, 2019) – San Antonio International Airport (SAT) received the top award for customer service – “Best Airport with 5-15 Million Passengers in North America” – from Airports Council International – World (ACI-W).  ACI-W, widely considered the benchmark in standards and evaluations within the aviation industry, revealed the winners of the renowned and coveted 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards earlier today. These awards are highly regarded and considered one of a kind as it is based upon surveys of more than 650,000 passengers taken on the day of their travel in order to get current and accurate feedback on a number of service quality issues. 

“It is always our goal to put passengers first and it’s an honor to be recognized as one of the world’s best airports for the quality of our customer service,” said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio. “This is truly a significant achievement for the amazing team I have the privilege of serving with, and something that all stakeholders of SAT and our surrounding community should be very proud of. SAT has a world-wide reputation for our excellence in customer service.”

Each year, airports are rated based upon the findings of passenger surveys. The program measures passengers’ views of 34 key performance areas and is administered worldwide.

The airports that receive the highest results and demonstrate a commitment to providing excellent customer service are recognized annually with an ASQ award.

SAT scored high in overall satisfaction, ground transportation, check-in waiting time, efficiency of staff, courtesy at check-in, terminal cleanliness, ease of way-finding, Internet/Wi-Fi, safety and security.

SAT will be honored in September at the ASQ Forum and ACI Customer Experience Global Summit to be held in Bali, Indonesia.

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San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City

San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country, nurturing entrepreneurship, encouraging investment and funding infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers a vibrant business climate and growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.

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What’s New in San Antonio?

Check out what’s new and exciting in San Antonio. From San Pedro Creek Culture Park, to exciting new rides at area theme parks, the new San Antonio Commanders football team and more. San Antonio is bursting with energy and excitement. 

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Swing into Spring!

So much is happening here in Spring. Experience the thrill of our theme parks, check out exciting new exhibits at our museums or join in on the celebrations of the season. 

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Upcoming Events

We’re fun year-round. And our events are, too. Live music, food and wine festivals, cultural events, live sporting events and rodeos – there’s no shortage of events to experience. Explore our offerings and see what’s new.

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We had some time with Michelle Moon, Visit San Antonio’s Director of Destination Experience and Engagement, to chat about why she loves San Antonio and where she takes her girls on the weekends.

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Michelle with her family.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?

MM: I am a born and bred San Antonioan! I was born at Fort Sam Houston.

What has made you choose to stay in San Antonio throughout your life?

MM: I love the history, culture and essence of the Alamo City. San Antonio has a great sense of place and is authentically a true melting pot of cultures. It is a large city, with top-notch amenities, but the personality of a small town. I also love the weather because what’s not to love about an average of 300 days of sunshine per year?

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

MM: I love having the opportunity to share the San Antonio story with our clients and other visitors. I come to work each day and get to work alongside a group of passionate professionals, who are all working towards a common goal. You can’t find another team that is more diverse and energetic about San Antonio.

How does the Destination Experience department help set the San Antonio meeting experience?

MM: The Destination Experience department works closely with our meeting planner clients to be a true extension of their team. We spend time learning their goals and objectives so we can best serve their needs and approach the planning process holistically. We are the San Antonio storytellers, a local expert or the go-to resource for our clients on all things within our city. With the help of our local partners we are able to collaborate to ensure the meeting planner and attendee’s best interest is always at heart.

If you had to tell meeting attendees one reason why they should come to San Antonio, what would you say?

MM: This is quite difficult! I’m going to give you my top three: (1) To experience a destination that is truly unique and full of rich history and culture. (2) To visit one of the friendliest and most inviting cities in the world! (3) To see what everyone else who has been to San Antonio is raving about!

Now for a few speed round questions:

Breakfast or Brunch?

MM: Brunch.

You have a free Saturday, where will we find you?

MM: I am a mother of two young girls and I love spending time with them on the weekends, exploring our city. We like to visit the museums that line the Broadway Cultural Corridor, shop local markets and venture downtown to the River Walk. Their favorite treat is to ride up to the top of the Tower of the Americas to get a 360 view of the city! We also have season passes to SeaWorld San Antonio, so we spend a lot of time there enjoying shows, riding the coasters and enjoying their special events.

Have questions about where to find a unique venue for your next San Antonio Meeting or just want to pick Michelle’s brain on where to take your kiddos? Reach out via email.

Keep your eyes peeled to meet the rest of the Destination Experience team but in the meantime start exploring San Antonio: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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City Welcomed 37 Million Visitors in 2017

San Antonio’s hospitality industry saw significant gains in economic impact, visitor and employment numbers from 2015 to 2017, according to the results of a study released today at the Visit San Antonio Annual Meeting.

Research by Trinity University professors, Dr. Richard V. Butler and Dr. Mary E. Stefl, showed the economic impact of San Antonio’s hospitality industry in 2017 was $15.2 billion, a rise of $1.6 billion from two years before.  The San Antonio metro area welcomed 37 million visitors in 2017, 7.3 million more than in 2015.

The biennial study showed that tourism and hospitality remains a vibrant and growing segment of the San Antonio landscape, generating seismic impact in revenue and fees. In 2017, $213.7 million was contributed to the City of San Antonio and $419 million was produced for all local government entities, including Bexar County and school districts, among others.

Those funds, in turn, continue to help the city support projects like San Antonio River improvements, amateur sports facilities, cultural arts and historical preservation.

“This not only provides additional attractions for visitors, but also increases the quality of life for local San Antonians,” said Rusty Wallace, Area Managing Director of the Omni La Mansion Del Rio/Mokara Hotel and Spa.

“We continually evaluate the health of our industry, and results continue to show steady growth,” added Wallace, board chairman for Visit San Antonio. “This reinforces the ongoing value of tourism-focused economic development in San Antonio, the creation of thousands of hospitality jobs for our citizens and the substantial contribution of tax revenues to local government.”

The Trinity report showed that the hospitality industry employs 140,188 individuals, or 1 out of every 7 employed San Antonians. That’s an increase of approximately 9,400 workers from 2015. The annual payroll for those employees is $3.23 billion.

“Consider that many of the amenities and attractions that so many San Antonio residents enjoy each day are available to them due to the economic impact that visitors bring to the city,” said Casandra Matej, President & CEO of Visit San Antonio.

Of the 37 million annual visitors to the San Antonio metro area, 30.4 million come for leisure travel. A total of 23.1 million were overnight visitors.

The Trinity hospitality economic impact report originated 16 years ago, and is commissioned by the San Antonio Tourism Council, Visit San Antonio, San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association and the San Antonio Restaurant Association.

“We are proud to work with our industry partners to highlight the tremendous impact this industry has on job creation and the economic stability of our city and our region,” San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association President & CEO, Liza Barratachea said.

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Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes approximately 34 million visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing nearly $14 billion into the local economy annually and employing 122,500. More information about Visit San Antonio and its initiatives for hospitality partners can be found at Partners.VisitSanAntonio.com.

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Visit San Antonio’s Director of Sales, Tyler Orwig, took a few moments with us to share his favorite San Antonio taco joint and why the Alamo City is perfect for your next event.

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Tyler & his family.

What brought you to San Antonio & how long have you lived here?

TO: I’ve lived in San Antonio for a combined six years. The first time, I was with Hyatt Hotels and then I had the opportunity to move back to work with Visit San Antonio.

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle? 

TO: As Director of Sales, I support our entire Convention Sales team and work across all markets.

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio? 

TO: I love the people here. This is hands down one of the best teams I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They have a passion for this city, their clients, partners and the visitor experience.

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio? 

TO: San Antonio is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. The city provides a unique and fun atmosphere that your event attendees surely will not forget.

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?  

TO: I spend most of my free time with my family but when I have any extra time on my hands, you can find me on the golf course. Also, any time Penn State is playing, I’m cheering them on!

Describe San Antonio in three words: 

TO: Unique. Caring. Fun!    

Now for a few speed round questions: 

Red Salsa or Green Salsa? 
TO: Red. 

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)? 

TO: Flour.

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio? 

TO: Taco Haven in Southtown. Go there, you won’t regret it!

Are you ready to start planning your next San Antonio event? Reach out to Tyler by email at TylerOrwig@visitsanantonio.com.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/

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San Antonio, Texas (August 31, 2018) – Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, the premier Texas Hill Country resort located only 20-minutes away from downtown San Antonio, has announced the completion of a renovation to its Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion.  Through the renovation, the resort has converted the pavilion tent, which was previously used as a back-up option, to a full-use signature meeting and event space.

“After using the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion as a back-up venue for several years, we started to notice that more and more groups were looking to book their events outdoors and surrounded by nature,” said John Hernstat, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.  “With more groups expressing interest in the venue as their primary function space, we decided to renovate and update the tent to provide a truly unique and distinctive space that would showcase our beautiful Hill Country scenery while still providing full protection from the outdoor elements.”

Through the renovation, which was completed earlier this year, the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion was outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of the venue in order to allow natural lighting and to create a more open space showcasing the outdoor scenery.  The venue’s flooring was also updated with luxury vinyl tile to further reflect the elegant and rustic feel of the property.

Named in honor of the family who owned and operated a cattle ranch for more than a century on the land where resort now sits, the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion was originally intended as a temporary venue space in 2010.  The resort turned the space into a permanent structure in 2014 with the addition of heating, air conditioning, and a sprinkler system for use as a back-up venue for outdoor events.  “With the warm summers and frequent rain showers our area sees during the spring and fall season, the pavilion is the perfect fit for planners who are looking for all of the comforts of hosting an indoor event, while being immersed in the Texas Hill Country, especially now with its newly-renovated design,” said Hernstat.

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa features 100,000 square-feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.  In addition to the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion, the property includes three grand ballrooms including the Independence Ballroom, Fredericksburg Ballroom, and Hill Country Ballroom which each have individual courtyard and garden pre-function space.

The property also offers the Luckenbach Pavilion, an outdoor covered terrace overlooking Hill Country Golf Club, as well as a free-standing retreat reminiscent of a quaint 1880s ranch house that can be utilized for private and VIP functions.

For more information or to book a meeting or event at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, please call 210 520 4036 or e-mail SANHC-RFP@hyatt.com.

About Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the AAA Four-Diamond Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa is nestled upon 300 acres of the historic Rogers-Wiseman family ranch, just 16 miles from the San Antonio International Airport and famous downtown River Walk.  The 500-room resort offers casual elegance and authentic Texas hospitality, while beautifully blending the convenience of the city with the peaceful charm of the Texas Hill Country.

Resort amenities include the full-service Windflower – The Hill Country Spa, featuring 21-treatment rooms with world-class services, a five-acre water park with a FlowRider® wave machine, two-story waterslide, four swimming pools, country-style lazy river, more than 100,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, and much more.  A variety of excellent on-site food and beverage options are available, including award-winning Antlers Lodge, offering a unique Texas dining experience that overlooks Hill Country Golf Club, the resort’s lushly landscaped 27-hole Arthur Hill-designed golf course.  Windflower – The Hill Country Spa, Antlers Lodge, and Hill Country Golf Club are available for both resort guests and the general public to enjoy.  For reservations or information, contact 210 647 1234 or visit us at hillcountry.regency.hyatt.com.

About Hyatt Regency

The Hyatt Regency brand prides itself on connecting travelers to who and what matters most to them. More than 175 conveniently located Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in over 30 countries around the world serve as the go-to gathering space for every occasion – from efficient business meetings to memorable family vacations. The brand offers a one-stop experience that puts everything guests need right at their fingertips. Hyatt Regency hotels and resorts offer a full range of services and amenities, including the space to work, engage or relax; notable culinary experiences; technology-enabled ways to collaborate; and expert event planners who can take care of every detail. For more information, please visit hyattregency.com. Follow @HyattRegency on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and tag photos with #AtHyattRegency.

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Luxury hotel gets a breath of fresh air while staying true to its heritage

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (Oct. 18, 2018) – Mokara Hotel & Spa’s newly renovated lobby and meetings spaces take inspiration from the luxury hotel’s rich history, celebrating it through new modern designs. Formerly the L. Frank Saddlery Building, the spirit of Mokara’s previous life can now be seen through a modern lens with fresh interiors and commissioned artwork.

The use of indigenous materials throughout, like leather sofas and cowhide throw pillows, along with custom touches like metal cap details on the restaurant banquettes, pay homage to the hotel’s 19th-century roots, with an elevated sense of luxury. New Axminster carpets feature sienna colors found in red clay and gold to mimic sunsets and creams that represent the limestone walls on the River Walk, tying the hotel to its natural surroundings. The small details, down to the rope, saddle and stirrup used in the custom carpets, bring the hotel’s former life into modern times.

Mokara is also pleased to announce the opening of the Tejas Boardroom, a new, 222 square-foot space for meetings inspired by the Spanish history of San Antonio. The room features rich, tall-back Spanish-inspired carved leather chairs gathered around a state-of-the-art conference table with power sources and connection to a new large screen television.

“All elements of the renovation connect the guest to the history of the L. Frank Saddlery building and surrounding landscape, transporting them back in time to when the Saddlery was in operation,” said Laura McKoy, creative director + vice president of interior design for Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Led by Sypult Rogers Studio, the interior design now showcases custom pieces, including new Axminster carpets, antiques and objects, many of which are native to Texas. Particularly unique and on display in the new ballroom is a custom-commissioned metal 3D sculpture of an open framed saddle, further strengthening the rich ties to the property.

“We hope that these freshened rooms and inviting spaces inspire every person who walks through our doors to reflect on the rich history found within our walls,” said Rusty Wallace, area managing director and general manager for the hotel.

Mokara Hotel & Spa is a luxury hotel situated on the iconic San Antonio River Walk. To book a reservation, call (210) 396-5800 or visit https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-antonio-mokara.

ABOUT MOKARA HOTEL & SPA

The Mokara Hotel & Spa, San Antonio’s only Forbes Four-Star Hotel & Spa, is the companion property to the illustrious Omni La Mansión del Rio, both of which have been owned and operated by Omni Hotels & Resorts since 2006.  With its stunning views of the tranquil River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Mokara blends a serene setting with relaxed sophistication to bring a guest experience where the exceptional is always included.  In addition to the acclaimed 17,000-square-foot Mokara Spa, the property 

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Millions of twinkling lights spread a special holiday glow throughout San Antonio. They set the stage for a holiday season highlighted by theme park celebrations, special events, entertaining shows, lots of tamales and so much more. Get in the Spirit. 

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Dia de los Muertos Celebrations: 
Oct. 27-Nov. 3
San Antonio celebrates the Day of the Dead with events for everyone including art shows, lively processions, kids workshops and more. Experience Tradition. 
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Halloween Thrills & Chills: Now – Oct. 31
From spooky theme parks to colorful events, you’ll find plenty of ways to celebrate the fun of Halloween right here in San Antonio. Tricks and Treats.
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The Birds and the Bees: Pollinators in Nature, Science an Culture: Now – March 17
This exhibit explores the importance of pollinators through the Witte Museum’s diverse collection. Get Informed.

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10th Annual Diwali Festival of Lights: Nov. 3
Experience this celebration of Indian culture featuring performances, a river parade, a release of floating candles and fireworks. Be Dazzled.
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Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival: Nov. 9-11
This epic after-dark fest showcases all forms of art including performance, music, literature, dance, visual arts and much more. Celebrate the Arts.
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Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza: Nov. 18
Enjoy the largest mariachi music fest in Texas featuring over 1,000 mariachis. Revel in Rhythm.


 

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Ford Holiday River Parade: Nov. 23
Kick off the holidays with this iconic parade filled with lights, decorated river floats and lively music. Start the Festivities.

San Antonio’s Tricentennial: A Celebrationfor the History Books
Celebrate 300 years of San Antonio with nonstop fun and exciting surprises throughout 2018. Join Us!

View San Antonio Official Visitor’s Guide to help plan your trip!
What’s New in San Antonio for 2018?

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Women have contributed influential chapters of the Texas story since day one, from 19th century leaders like Jane Long, the “Mother of Texas,” and Susana Dickinson, “The Lady of the Alamo,” to Carrie Marcus, the dynamic young saleswoman who married Abraham Lincoln Neiman in 1905. Marcus later became the face and style—and chairman of the board—for the legendary Neiman Marcus store. Their prominence reaches across all industries—including meetings and events.

Here, five women share what it means to lead the way in Texas. Read More. 

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We snagged some time with Elissa Nava, one of the Visit San Antonio National Sales Managers. She gave us the scoop on where to get the best edamame in the Alamo City and why you should host your next event here!    

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Elissa.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?

EN: I’ve lived in San Antonio a quarter of a century!

Where are you from and what brought you to San Antonio?

EN: I moved to San Antonio from San Diego, CA when I was 11. You could say I went from “Hang Ten,” to “Howdy Y’all!”.

What has kept you in San Antonio for this long?

EN: Though I’m not originally from San Antonio, I chose to stay and raise my family here because it is an amazing city. I wanted my children to grow up somewhere that is diverse and full of culture, so they could experience and gain world views right here at home. It seems like every month there is a celebration of heritage, history or culture in our city, and I love that we take pride in that. If that’s not enough, San Antonio has a great culture, is within a few hours of the Gulf, close to the Mexican Border, within an hour from tons of lakes and rivers and we are close to the picturesque Texas Hill Country. We have a plethora of options for fun-in-the-sun activities and great food. I could go on for days about my love for this city.

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

EN: I work with small meetings out of the West and Midwest United States or Internationally.    

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

EN: I have the best job because it is so FUN! I love San Antonio, so having the opportunity to promote it as a destination is truly exciting for me. I enjoy helping people find the perfect place for their event and showcase the experience that their groups will have in our city. Site visits are my favorite aspect of this position, because what could be better than showing all the greatness that our city has to offer to those that have never been here?

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

EN: There is absolutely no place like San Antonio. The city has something to offer every meeting, convention or event. You will love our vibrant, walkable downtown area that includes the River Walk and many restaurants and cool venues. The Hill Country resorts are beautiful options for planning as well, with a great location (30 minutes from downtown and the airport) and amazing experiences. No matter where you go in San Antonio, you will love the southern hospitality, coupled with genuine culture.

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

EN: I’m married and have three children, so I spend most of my free time with them. We enjoy going to the San Antonio Zoo, Sea World San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas during the summer and throughout the holiday season. My kids love to play in Yanaguana Gardens and grab a paleta in Hemisfair. As a family, we visit Mexico a few times a year since it is a short drive away. We love soccer, my favorite team is from Monterrey, Mexico, so we love to watch the games on TV and sometimes at the stadium!

Describe San Antonio is three words:

EN: Culture. Cuisine. Convivial.

Now for a few speed round questions:

Red or Green? (Salsa)

EN: Green!

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

EN: I like to consider myself a foodie, so obviously my hidden gem is a restaurant. We have an amazing culinary scene, but one of my favorite spots in town is Kimura, a Japanese-style ramen shop. It is a small place, downtown near the Greyhound Station but it’s a really amazing experience because they make their ramen right in front of their patrons. Another special thing about Kimura – they are the only restaurant in San Antonio that chars their edamame. You must try it!    

Kick off your event planning or catch a soccer game with a cold brew by reaching out to Elissa via email at ElissaNava@visitsanantonio.com.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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We were able to get some time with Amanda Ciarlone, one of Visit San Antonio’s National Sales Managers to gain insights on her favorite parts of the city and why she thinks it is the perfect spot for you next event.    

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Amanda and her family.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?

AC: I actually live in New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio and home to Schlitterbahn. We moved our family to the area seven years ago.

What brought you to San Antonio?

AC: We moved here from New York in 2010 because my husband got a job here. We jumped at the opportunity to move back to Texas, because it is a great place to work, live and raise a family.

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

AC: I get to work closely with our friends and clients in the Southeast and Southwest, through New Mexico.   

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

AC: This is a big question! I am an extremely family-oriented person and when I joined the Visit San Antonio team, I quickly felt like I was a part of another family here at work. I am so blessed to be a part of a group of talented and warm colleagues and serve as an ambassador to the best convention destination in the U.S. We are all working together to positively impact the economy of our city. I also enjoy the relationships with our partners, who are some of the finest hospitality professionals in the country.  

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

AC: You will not find another destination that is as authentic and welcoming as San Antonio. We are the perfect backdrop to any meeting or convention. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center is a premier facility of its kind and our hotels offer first class service and accommodations. When you couple these things with our incredible culinary scene, attractions and culture, I promise, you won’t find the San Antonio experience anywhere else.   

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

AC: I’m a mom of three (Cate, 11; Jack, 8; Sam, 8 Months), so I dedicate most of my free time to my kiddos. If I find an hour in the week for myself, I love going to hot yoga. As a family, we spend a lot of time enjoying live music at Gruene Hall and exploring the culinary scene. We like to go to Canyon Lake, the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers and Schlitterbahn. Can you tell we like the water?

Describe San Antonio is three words:

AC: Diverse. Inviting. Festive.

Now for a few speed round questions:

Flour or Corn? (Tortillas)

AC: Flour.

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

AC: I am a huge fan of Pharm Table in Downtown San Antonio. I’m not a vegetarian, or a vegan yet I enjoy eating locally sourced, healthy food when I can.   

Ready to start planning your next meeting, or need a scoop on the best way to float the Comal River? Reach out to Amanda by email at AmandaCiarlone@visitsanantonio.com.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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Adrienne Nudo is one of Visit San Antonio’s Senior Sales Managers and has the unique opportunity to represent our city all the way in Chicago, IL. We grabbed a few minutes with her to learn more about her and why she thinks San Antonio is the perfect location for any event.  

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Adrienne and her family.

Where you from?

AN: I grew up in the Midwest. Madison, Indiana to be specific.

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

AN: I work closely with Visit San Antonio clients in the Midwest.

What is unique about your job?

AN: I get to know my customers on a more personal level since I am based here with them. I love having the opportunity to meet with them in their space, see them in my community and attend social events with them.   

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

AN: It is such a great honor to represent San Antonio and the amazing people that call the city home. Everyone is so proud of their city which makes our jobs that much more rewarding.

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

AN: Between the authenticity of the people and cuisine, you can’t go wrong in San Antonio. Your attendees are sure to have a wonderful time and everyone in your group will be raving about how this year’s event knocked it out of the park. The city is walkable, friendly and full of culture to surprise and delight everyone.  

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

AN: I love spending time with my family and friends. I really like music, my favorite artists are Dave Matthews, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Zac Brown Band.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

AN: Authentic, Memorable and Fun.

Now for a few speed round questions:

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)?

AN: Flour

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

AN: The King William District is so unique and every time I take people there they say, “Wow, I never knew this area existed!”. It’s fun to surprise visitors and take them to places they wouldn’t have thought we have in San Antonio. I love the historic homes and the location on the “quieter” section of the River Walk. My favorite spot to take people to grab some grub is Tito’s Mexican Restaurant!

Interested in booking your San Antonio event? Catch Adrienne via email at AdrienneNudo@visitsanantonio.com or feel free to ask her to show you around the King William District.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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We caught up with Erin Sheehy-Campbell, one of Visit San Antonio’s National Sales Managers to chat about the local farmers market scene and why San Antonio is the perfect destination for any meeting.  

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Erin & her husband having dinner at San Antonio’s Chart House atop the Tower of the Americas.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

ESC: I was born and raised in San Antonio, the heart of Texas!  

Why have you stayed in San Antonio?

ESC: I left San Antonio briefly to attend college and graduate school, but I missed the city and my family so much that I returned in 2010. When I came back, I saw San Antonio with a fresh set of eyes and was so impressed by the growth and development the city had experienced and still is experiencing. I can’t imagine living anywhere other than San Antonio.

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

ESC: I partner with our clients from D.C., Virginia and Maryland.   

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

ESC: It is an honor to be an ambassador for my hometown, and the city I love. The team that I work with here in San Antonio and our partners are amazing. We are all proud to sell our city as a premiere meetings and event destination.  

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

ESC: The San Antonio experience is one that offers a rich heritage, vibrant culture and genuine hospitality. Our city provides the ideal canvas for networking, learning and having fun at the same time. Whether your perfect setting is in the heart of the city, mixed with the local color and flavor or relaxing hill country views, San Antonio truly is a destination for all.

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

ESC: I love to travel with my family. My husband and I take a special trip to Ireland to visit his family each year and we always take some time to explore another country while overseas. I also enjoy cooking for family and friends, reading, singing and playing with our fur-baby, Oliver.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

ESC: Genuine. Surprising. Authentic.

Now for a few speed round questions:

Red or Green (Salsa)?

ESC: Green

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

ESC: If you’re looking for a small piece of what our local community has to offer, I highly suggest the Pearl Farmers Market on the weekends. You can get some great food, while hanging out with friends, family and pets in a beautiful space.  

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Erin or if you want a buddy for the Pearl Farmers Market, reach out via email – ErinSheehy@visitsanantonio.com.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/

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We sat down with Néstor Núñez, one of the Senior Sales Managers here at Visit San Antonio, to get a feel for what his favorite bike trails are and why San Antonio is perfect for your next event.  

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Néstor and his wife, Sheyla. 

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

NN: I’ve lived in San Antonio for 10 years.

Where are you from and what brought you to San Antonio?

NN: I was born and raised in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico! I worked with Hilton Hotels and eventually transferred here. I’m glad that I moved to San Antonio because it is a great place to live and raise a family!

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

NN: I have the pleasure of working with Visit San Antonio’s clients in the Northeast and Southeast.   

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

NN: Visit San Antonio is an organization full of humble people that are consistently honoring others and hustling to provide top-notch hospitality. I also enjoy working with our clients and partners!

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

NN: San Antonio is an authentic, walkable and memorable city with awesome hotels, a world-class Convention Center and the best margaritas!

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

NN: I love spending time with my wife, our two children and our two fur-children, at church, biking the Salado Creek or at Sideliner’s playing sand volleyball.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

NN: Diverse, Authentic, Fun!

Now for a few speed round questions:

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)?

NN: Corn

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

NN: Guero’s Taco Diner. Make sure you tell Bern that Nestor sent you. You’ll know who he is as soon as you get there. My weekend habit is Mario’s of New York City because I can’t resist an amazing pizza-pie!

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Néstor, reach out via email – NestorNunez@visitsanantonio.com, or feel free to ask him for a taco recommendation.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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We chatted with Troy Love, one of Visit San Antonio’s Senior Sales Managers. He gave us some insight into why San Antonio is the perfect place for any event, and where he likes to grab BBQ on the weekends with good friends.  

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Troy hiking the Texas Hill Country with his family.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

TL: I moved to San Antonio 11 years ago. The small town feel in a big city really appealed to us.  

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you handle?

TL: I work with Visit San Antonio’s clients in most states west of the Missouri River, planning city-wide meetings with over 1001+ rooms on peak.

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

TL: My favorite part about working for Visit San Antonio is the genuine relationships we get to build with our clients. Helping friends plan great events in our wonderful city.  

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

TL: San Antonio is one of the most unique cities in America. We have the whole package – people, culture, activities, venues, walkability and price. What more could your attendees want? Memories are made in San Antonio; all you have to do is come visit us one time, and you’ll want to come back again and again.

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

TL: I spend my time with my friends and family in the Hill Country or Downtown San Antonio. I love to take in the occasional game of golf too.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

TL: Exciting. Authentic. Fun.   

Now for a few speed round questions:

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)?

TL: Flour

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

TL: Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q is the perfect spot to grab a great meal with friends and family.

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Troy, or grab a great BBQ meal? Reach out via email – TroyLove@visitsanantonio.com.  

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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First phase and segment opened to the public on May 5, 2018

SAN ANTONIO – The first segment of the much-anticipated San Pedro Creek Culture Park – a one-of-a-kind urban greenspace located on the western edge of downtown San Antonio – officially debuted to the public on Saturday, May 5, 2018. The world-class linear park is the result of a joint effort by Bexar County, the San Antonio River Authority and the City of San Antonio to transform San Pedro Creek into a restored natural creek habitat and greenspace. Combining purpose with beauty, San Pedro Creek Culture Park weaves public art and architectural design into historic preservation, flood control, water quality and ecosystem restoration.

“Through the revitalization of San Pedro Creek, we are inviting people to connect with our community’s vibrant history and culture,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “Bexar County was founded along the banks of San Pedro Creek and the San Pedro Creek Culture Park celebrates and expresses the culture, history and natural qualities of Bexar County through its beautiful design and artwork.”

The first phase and segment of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park – stretching from the flood tunnel inlet at N. Santa Rosa Street near Fox Tech High School to Houston Street – was celebrated with a full day community event and evening illumination ceremony, which drew thousands to the paseos along the revitalized creek.

 “The San Antonio River Authority gets a tremendous amount of joy bringing these types of projects to fruition for the community,” said San Antonio River Authority Board Chair Mike Lackey. “It’s been a challenging in terms of designing and constructing a linear park in the middle of downtown San Antonio but seeing the transformation of the Creek gives us the energy and excitement to continue working on these types of once-in-a-lifetime endeavors.”

Exemplifying beauty with a purpose, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park serves as vital infrastructure for a growing downtown. By increasing the depth and width of the existing channel, the project removes 30 acres from the 100-year flood plain, safely conveying floodwaters within the San Pedro Creek banks. The project also improves water quality in a highly urbanized segment of the downtown watershed through the use of low-impact development features, including bioswales and storm water interceptors. In addition to creating a more functional waterway, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park returns the creek to a more natural state, benefitting the native flora and fauna.

Public art provides a beautiful backdrop to the restored creek, telling the story of our community through contemporary art and cultural programming. The first segment of the Culture Park features four tile murals designed by prominent San Antonio artists – Adriana Garcia, Katie Pell, Alex Rubio and Joe Lopez – that commemorate the rich and interweaving cultures that define San Antonio and Bexar County. Additional artwork commissions include storytelling through historical text and poetry by John Phillip Santos, ceramic artwork representing the historical nature of the nearby street names by Diana Kersey and colorful tiles by Michael Menchaca inspired by the people, culture and history of San Antonio.

“Bexar County has invested in many vital projects to improve the lives of our residents, but no other project has been more prominent and culturally meaningful than the creation of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park,” said Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo. “The vision of the Bexar County Commissioners Court to create a space where local citizens and visitors could learn and appreciate the roots of local heritage and culture is being realized with the opening of this first segment.”

Visitors can navigate the San Pedro Creek Culture Park with the help of a mobile app, which includes a variety of ways to learn about and interact with the creek. Available on Android and iOS, the app features a customizable 18-stop audio tour as well as extensive plant and animal lists for those who want to learn more about the native flora and fauna of the creek.

In total, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park encompasses a total of four phases, with three segments in the first phase. The second segment, which spans from Houston Street to Nueva Street is currently under construction. When the four phases are completed, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park will span 2.2 miles through downtown.

To learn more about the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, including planned programming along the Creek, visit SPCculturepark.com.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Monica Trevino-Ortega
San Antonio River Authority
210-204-7875

Anamaria Suescun-Fast
The DeBerry Group
210-363-2673

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We sat down with Mario Bass, Visit San Antonio’s very own Vice President of Sales & Services, to get a feel for some of his favorite things about the Countdown City and where to hit your next golf swing when you’re here.   

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Mario enjoying a day on the golf course with his son, Aiden.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

MB: I’m a proud San Antonio native.

As someone who grew up here in San Antonio, what made you stay?

MB: San Antonio is the only place I call home. I moved away twice during my 22 years in the lodging and hospitality industry, and I got back here as soon as I could!

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

MB: I have the greatest pleasure of working with Visit San Antonio’s clients in all markets.

What is your favorite thing about working at Visit San Antonio?

MB: San Antonio boasts 34.4 million visitors a year, and tourism is big business for us here with a $13.6 BILLION economic impact across the entire city. Imagine being a part of that landscape. it is truly amazing.

Why should planners host their next event in San Antonio?

MB: When I speak with planners that are looking for a truly memorable meeting or event experience, I can tell them all day why San Antonio is perfect for them. You will seriously never find another San Antonio out there.

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you do in your free time?

MB: I love spending time on the golf course with my son Aiden.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

MB: Historic. Cultural. Diverse.   

Now for a few speed round questions:

Red Salsa or Green Salsa?

MB: Green

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

MB: I love the Historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course. It is a great course in the heart of the city, with a wealth of history and beauty.  

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Mario, or need someone to hit the green with? Reach out via email – MarioBass@VisitSanAntonio.com.  

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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We took a few minutes to sit down with Andrea Harrington, one of Visit San Antonio’s National Sales Managers, to get the scoop on her favorite places in the city, and why you should plan your next event here. 

Andrea with her fur-child, Emmy Lou in their Spurs jerseys! 

Where did you grow up?

AH: I’m a born and raised San Antonio-an (Go Spurs Go!). I grew up on the Northwest side of the city.

What has kept you in San Antonio?

AH: I love this city, it is the epitome of versatility and growth. Throughout each stage in my life, there has been something for me here in San Antonio.

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

AH: I work with our clients from the Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic markets.  

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

AH: What’s not to love about selling the greatest city in the world?! Seriously though, I have such a neat opportunity to meet with all types of fantastic and eclectic personalities throughout my day to day here at Visit San Antonio. My co-workers, clients and friends continually inspire me to keep working hard to do my part in providing a premiere visitor experience.  

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

AH: San Antonio isn’t geared towards one type of person, or event. We cater to every different personality as a destination, and we are constantly on the search for ways to exceed expectations, and leave lasting impressions. In one sentence: San Antonio is a friendly, welcoming city, and we are happy to give visitors a taste of what makes us San Antonio residents so proud.   

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

AH: When I’m not working, or spending time with my friends and family, you can find me painting or playing poker. I always have my “game-face” on!  

Describe San Antonio is three words:

AH: Vivacious. Humble. Sensational.   

Now for a few speed round questions:

Red Salsa or Green Salsa?

AH: Red.

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)?

AH: Corn.

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

AH: Blue Box, at Pearl. They have the most magnificent infused vodkas. I also love jogging and taking picnics to Woodlawn Lake. It is a serene little oasis within the city!

Are you ready to start planning your next San Antonio event, or just want to grab a cocktail? Reach out via email – AndreaHarrington@visitsanantonio.com.  

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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We chatted with Alysia Roden, Visit San Antonio’s Associate Director of Sales, to find out which of her favorite hidden gems in the city you should visit next time you’re here.  

Alysia with the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four® Trophy!

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

AR: I moved from Austin to San Antonio, to work for Visit San Antonio 9 years ago!

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

AR: I primarily work with Visit San Antonio’s clients that are planning citywide conventions in Texas and the Southwest.

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

AR: I. Love. My. Job. Seriously, I work with the greatest people on Earth, and I have the opportunity to represent this amazing city. I’ve always had a passion for providing the ultimate convention experience, and making planning easy on our event professionals.  

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

AR: Every planner is on the search for a memorable, friendly and unique experience for their attendees. San Antonio is that experience.  

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

AR: I love spending time with my family. I have two children, ages 4 and 1, so they keep me busy.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

AR: Fun. Authentic. Friendly.  

Now for a few speed round questions:

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)?

AR: Flour

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

AR: I spend a ton of time with my family at Eisenhower Park. We love the playground and the trails.

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Alysia, or find out a hot new spot to grab dinner? Reach out via email – AlysiaRoden@visitsanantonio.com.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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San Antonio, Tex. (March 21, 2018) – Grand Hyatt San Antonio, a luxury hotel located on San Antonio’s famous River Walk, announces its 10th anniversary on March 22, 2018.  Built in 2008, the hotel has accommodated more than three million guests, hosted more than 5,000 meetings, and has served millions of patrons in its bars and restaurants since opening.  To complement the anniversary and honor guests, the hotel completed a $19 million renovation of guestrooms, meeting spaces, bar, corridors and lobby in time for the anniversary.

“Grand Hyatt San Antonio is thrilled to celebrate 10 years of service to our guests and the City of San Antonio as its premiere meeting and leisure hotel,” said Ed Bucholtz, general manager of Grand Hyatt San Antonio.  “In time for our 10th anniversary, we completed a renovation providing guests with a new luxurious guestroom experience, expansive meeting space with state-of-the-art technology for groups and those hosting elegant affairs, an urbane bar and lounge with contemporary seating serving the latest craft beverages, and a sophisticated lobby to ensure leisure and business travelers are comfortable and feel at home while they are visiting San Antonio.”    

Capturing the essence of the city’s rich culture and its vibrant River Walk, the newly renovated property offers 1,003 modern and luxurious guestrooms including 46 spacious suites with panoramic views of the city.  Guests will experience new Hyatt Grand beds with luxury linens and ultramodern 55-inch flat-screen televisions.  The lavish accommodations are only topped by the plush indigo carpeting, rich ivory wall coverings, and warm-wooden tones of teak and birch to reflect San Antonio’s lush landscape and captivating rivers.  The guestrooms are accented by southwestern-style blues and browns featured in its contemporary furniture.  Designed with the latest technology, wireless high-speed internet is complimentary in all guestrooms and public spaces to keep guests connected without ever needing to leave the hotel.

Complementing the newly designed guestrooms, Grand Hyatt San Antonio’s corridors were also featured in the renovation including new carpet and wall coverings.  The floors and landings were modernized with warm, welcoming colors and similar finished wood tones as displayed in the guestrooms.  

Located next to San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and connected to the world famous Alamodome via a foot bridge, Grand Hyatt San Antonio has 115,000 square feet of expansive indoor and outdoor space for company meetings and events.  Supporting groups and organizations visiting San Antonio, the recent renovation enhances the experiences of large meetings and events, while enriching the aesthetics of smaller meetings at the property.  The colors of the up-to-date wall coverings complement the meeting rooms’ new lush carpeting with shades of cornflower blue and royal yellow.  The meeting rooms are modernized with advanced lighting; state-of-the-art reader boards; the latest in audio visual technology; and high-tech special effects to help planners bring their meetings to life.         

Grand Hyatt San Antonio’s newly updated and expansive meeting space provides planners with 13 flexible indoor and outdoor venues from hosting sophisticated weddings and elegant social events in the Lone Star Ballroom to holding large corporate gatherings accommodating thousands of executives in the Texas Ballroom to having more intimate occasions in the hotel’s 29 smaller boardrooms and breakout rooms.  Taking advantage of San Antonio’s perfect weather conditions, the hotel has 5,200 square feet of exceptional balcony space overlooking the bustling city, its inspirational rolling hills, and famous river.

Completing the hotel’s renovation, Grand Hyatt San Antonio has increased the amount of seating in its popular Bar Rojo adding new modernized furniture that incorporates imbedded electrical outlets and wireless technology into the marble table tops and comfortable leather chairs.  The bar is outfitted with a new cherry red colored carpet highlighted by a honey-yellow spherical design.  Contemporary elegant gold lighting fixtures extend from the ceiling accentuating the ultra-modern wine, scarlet and amber colored chandelier inviting patrons to experience the ambiance of the bar while enjoying a handcrafted cocktail or artisan beer.

As guests enter the newly renovated Grand Hyatt San Antonio, they are greeted by exquisite wall coverings decorating the hotel’s main entrance.  Walking through the Italian tile and marble lobby, stylish furniture with easily accessible electrical outlets are positioned throughout the grand entrance to encourage networking and conversations among guests.  The new lobby is furnished with modern fixtures and embellished by contemporary chandeliers that extend from the ceiling and offer an aura of sophistication to the guests’ arrival.

The newly renovated hotel also includes a heated roof-top pool with morning yoga classes; state-of-the-art fitness center with cardio machines, free weights and stability balls; and three restaurants including Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  It is minutes away from San Antonio’s top attractions including the River Walk, The Alamo, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Tower of The Americas, Alamodome, and the San Antonio Zoo.  

About Grand Hyatt San Antonio

Grand Hyatt San Antonio is located on San Antonio’s magical River Walk and is conveniently situated adjacent to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.  One-thousand-and-three luxurious guest rooms capture the essence of the vibrant city with modern comforts and pampering amenities.  One-hundred-and-fifteen thousand square feet of expansive indoor and outdoor meeting space combine state-of-the-art technology with high-tech special effects to accommodate all types of company meetings and events.  The hotel features a heated rooftop pool and daily YogaAway™ classes; a fully equipped 24-hour StayFit@Hyatt gym with the latest cardio machines and free weights in the fitness center; Bar Rojo, a casual-yet-upscale lounge experience offering handcrafted cocktails, premium libations, and craft beer; Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse; as well as Perks Coffee shop, open 24 hours.  Connected by a foot bridge to the Alamodome and just steps away from the Tower of The Americas, the Alamo, iconic riverside restaurants, and historic downtown shops and attractions, Grand Hyatt San Antonio guests and groups will indulge themselves with the latest amenities and services to make their stay unforgettable in the Alamo City.  For more information on Grand Hyatt San Antonio or Bar Rojo, please call (210) 224-1234 or visit sanantonio.grand.hyatt.com, follow @GrandHyattSanAntonio on Facebook, @grandhyattsa on Instagram and Twitter, and tag photos on #LivingGrand.

About Grand Hyatt

Around the world, Grand Hyatt hotels unlock the extraordinary in every moment by creating experiences beyond expectation. Located at the crossroads of local culture and global business within major gateway cities and resort destinations, each Grand Hyatt hotel is uniquely designed to reflect its own distinct environment and provides a hub for travelers and locals alike. Grand Hyatt hotels exemplify the pursuit of life lived grandly offering guests superior service, first-class accommodations and an abundance of options within a multicultural backdrop of dramatic architecture and innovative design. Grand Hyatt properties boast inventive restaurants, luxury spas, fitness centers, and business and meeting facilities. Grand Hyatt hotels stand to make every moment memorable through their commitment to living grand every day. For additional information or to make a reservation, please visit grandhyatt.com. Follow @GrandHyatt on Facebook and Instagram, and tag photos with #GoGrand.

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We sat down with Sean Massay, one of Visit San Antonio’s Senior Sales Managers to get a feel for some of his favorite parts of San Antonio, and why you should host your event here.

Sean hiking with his family.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

SM: I have lived in San Antonio for 26 years.

You’re a native Texan, but not from San Antonio, tell us more about that.

SM: I’m from Allen, Texas, but once I found San Antonio, I never wanted to leave.

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

SM: I work with clients in the sports industry, and with some of Visit San Antonio’s clients in the government sector.

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

SM: I have this awesome opportunity to sell this very special and unique destination, as well as being a part of a dynamic, progressive, and ever evolving organization.

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

SM: I have been all over the United States, and I can honestly say, you’ll never find San Antonio’s genuine culture, friendliness, and the instant feeling of “being home” elsewhere.

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time?

SM: I’m a runner and a Crossfit guy. I also love discovering new, local restaurants and bars with friends. My family is extremely active, we love the hike & bike trails here in San Antonio. When I’m home I spend time reading and cooking.

Describe San Antonio is three words:

SM: Vibrant. Warm. Welcoming.

Now for a few speed round questions:

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)?

SM: Corn

Who are your “teams”?

SM: Basketball, Spurs. Football, Cowboys. Like I said, native Texan.

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

SM: I really enjoy going to the San Antonio Botanical Garden with my family. Their recent expansion is amazing!

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Sean or want to know the best hiking trails in the city? Reach out via email – SeanMassay@visitsanantonio.com.

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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We sat down with Summer Davey, Visit San Antonio’s Associate Director of Sales in our Washington, D.C. Office to learn more about her love of the city and why she thinks that you should host your next event in the Alamo City. 

Summer with her family.

How long have you lived in San Antonio?:

SD: I lived in San Antonio for close to two years before I moved the D.C. Metro Area. I have been working for Visit San Antonio, previously the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau for 13 years. 

So if you’re not from San Antonio, where are you from?

SD: I am originally from Daytona Beach, Florida. 

What meetings, conventions and event markets do you primarily handle?

SD: I primarily work with Visit San Antonio’s wonderful clients in the Washington, D.C. metro area with 2001+ on peak.   

What do you love about working for Visit San Antonio?

SD: I love the people that I get to work with day in and day out. Our partners are fantastic, and such a great help in bringing business to our city. 

Why should people host their next event in San Antonio?

SD: San Antonio is the complete package for any event of any size. We have it all, including a world-class convention center, hotels to suit any fancy, an amazing culinary scene (we are a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, after all) and great attractions for the kids, and kids at heart. 

When you’re not busy selling San Antonio, what do you like to do in your free time? 

SD: I love running and working out, staying healthy is truly so important in today’s business climate when all of us are incredibly busy. It is also very important to me to spend time with my family, friends and other loved ones, whether that’s at a family dinner, traveling together or volunteering. 

Describe San Antonio is three words:

SD: Historic. Entertaining. Beautiful.

Now for a few speed round questions:

Flour or Corn (Tortillas)?

SD: Flour

What is your favorite “hidden gem” in San Antonio?

SD: Bar 1919 in the Blue Star Complex. They bring fantastic cocktails with style to the table each time I visit. 

Think you’d like to plan your next San Antonio event with Summer, reach out via email –SummerDavey@VisitSanAntonio.com, or just feel free to ask her where to get the best old fashioned in town, either way, she’ll be glad to help! 

Be on the lookout to meet more of our Visit San Antonio Sales Staff, and in the meantime, kick-off your event planning by visiting our website: https://meetings.visitsanantonio.com/.

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SAN ANTONIO (January 17, 2018) – Travelers to San Antonio now have access to a brand-new, state of the art $178M Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC) at the San Antonio International Airport. The facility makes it convenient for travelers to access rental cars in one centralized, on-site location. The short-term garage is on the first two levels of the facility and the next five levels are designated rental car areas. Access to the rental car area is through the sky bridge, taking passengers directly from the mezzanine level of the terminal to the rental car counters.

The 1.8 million square feet CONRAC facility houses 14 rental car companies, a quick turnaround (QTA) area for fueling, vacuuming, washing and light maintenance, and approximately 2,600 ready/return parking spaces. The CONRAC, just a few steps away from the terminals, eliminates the need for shuttles to take passengers to their rental car locations, enabling the airport to initiate significant improvements to traffic flow in the arrivals area. 

“The airport continues to enjoy great success in several areas as we continue to set record passenger numbers, add additional air service and achieve national recognition for our fantastic customer service.  With the opening of the CONRAC, we now enjoy a state-of-the-art structure that provides customers with the convenience of an on-site, consolidated rental car facility, truly offering a first-class experience to those visiting San Antonio and the region,” said Russ Handy, Aviation Director for the City of San Antonio. 

In addition to the CONRAC, the city invested substantial resources in airport aesthetics, including detailed lighting and public art installations created by local artists Suzy Gonzales and Michael Menchaca. The artwork celebrates 300 years of San Antonio history, focusing on the airport’s culture, architecture and role in aviation history.

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San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City

San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country with a vibrant business climate and a ‘AAA’ general obligation bond rating from all three major rating agencies. San Antonio is a city that nurtures entrepreneurship, encourages investment and funds infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. In 2018, the city celebrates its 300th anniversary, honoring its rich past and a bright future focused on innovation and livability. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov.

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SAN ANTONIO (January 3, 2018) – San Antonio has been named the “Best City for Meetings” by Smart Asset, an online financial technology company that uses data-driven tools to help individuals make important financial decisions. This is the third consecutive year that San Antonio has topped the annual list.

To create its list, Smart Asset analyzed 102 of the largest U.S. cities using a variety of factors including the number and size of the hotels in the city, the average room rate, the average cost of a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant, the distance between downtown and the airport, the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people and the number of restaurants and other entertainment venues as a percentage of all businesses.

“San Antonio is a modern meeting destination amid a city of history and culture,” said Visit San Antonio President & CEO Casandra Matej. “Meeting planners and attendees are drawn here because of the city’s central location, year-round favorable weather, accessibility, walkability, affordability and variety of options. We’re thrilled that Smart Asset’s data shows what we already know and love about our city, and it’s an honor to receive this recognition.”

To see Smart Asset’s study analysis, visit smartasset.com/mortgage/the-best-cities-for-conferences-2017-edition.

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About Visit San Antonio

Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 20.9 million overnight visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.6 billion into the local economy and employing more than 130,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com.

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SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 28, 2017) — San Antonio has been named to National Geographic Traveler magazine’s annual lineup of the 21 must-see destinations to visit in the year ahead. The 2018 Best of the World list, comprised of Traveler editors’ top picks, is available today in the December/January 2018 issue of the publication, on newsstands and online at NatGeoTravel.com/BestTrips2018.

“Our mission is to inspire curiosity and encourage our readers to explore the world with passion and purpose,” said George Stone, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler. “The 21 places that we profile make for a year of exhilarating discoveries and a dream itinerary for intrepid travelers.”

San Antonio, which draws more than 34 million visitors a year, was one of three U.S. destinations listed. Also honored were Cleveland, Ohio, and Oahu, Hawaii.

San Antonio will be celebrating its 300th birthday throughout 2018, including a kickoff celebration on New Year’s Eve. It has recently enjoyed a string of notable accolades, including recognition from Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s and Frommer’s, all naming the city as a must-visit destination. In October, Travel + Leisure named San Antonio one of the friendliest communities in the country.

Already home to the only World Heritage Site in Texas, San Antonio also was honored earlier this month when UNESCO named it a Creative City of Gastronomy for its mix of culinary cultures. San Antonio is only the second U.S. city to receive this recognition.

“As San Antonio prepares to celebrate its Tricentennial in 2018, this incredible honor arrives at a special place in our timeline as one of the most authentic, culturally celebrated destinations in the world,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit San Antonio. “This National Geographic designation puts the international spotlight on a World Heritage community that contains a rich diversity of attractions, from arts to history to culinary to family fun, all complemented by the warmth and hospitality of its residents.”

Added Stone, “Our list is guided by National Geographic values of cultural engagement, heritage preservation and ecological conservation and sustainability. Our list is fun, vivid, surprising and rewarding.”

In alphabetical order, the 2018 Best of the World destinations are:

  • Albania
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Friesland, Netherlands
  • Harar, Ethiopia
  • Jordan Trail, Jordan
  • Jujuy Province, Argentina
  • Labrador, Canada
  • Madagascar
  • Malmo, Sweden
  • Oahu, Hawaii
  • Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Ruaha NP, Tanzania
  • San Antonio
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Seoraksan National Park, South Korea
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Tetouan, Morocco
  • Vienna, Austria

National Geographic Traveler has the largest audience of any travel magazine, with more than 9.6 million readers. Its readers have the highest passport ownership, most international and domestic trips and most outdoor recreation spending of any other travel title.

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Media Contact:   

Richard Oliver     
Director of Partner & Community Relations
richardoliver@visitsanantonio.com
(210) 207-6708

David Gonzalez
Director of Communications
davidgonzalez@visitsanantonio.com
(210) 207-6758

Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 20.9 million overnight visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.6 billion into the local economy and employing more than 130,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com

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SAN ANTONIO (October 6, 2017) – Casandra Matej, president & CEO of Visit San Antonio, has been named one of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry for 2017 by Meetings & Conventions Magazine. The third annual ranking includes a select list of high achievers in the meetings industry who have demonstrated extraordinary talent, leadership, creativity and advocacy in the field.

“The meetings world is dominated by extraordinary women, and Meetings & Conventions chooses the crème de la crème each year for its list of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry,” said Loren Edelstein, editor in chief of Meetings & Conventions. “Casandra has proved herself a champion for travelers locally, statewide, and in the greater world of convention and visitor bureaus.”

Matej was recognized for her ongoing vision and leadership at Visit San Antonio. Her more than two decades of tourism experience have helped guide the organization in achieving record highs in convention sales, media coverage and traffic to visitsanantonio.com. In her role, Matej is also a key advocate for legislative issues that may impact the meetings industry on a local, state and national level. In 2017, Matej was instrumental in leading a successful effort by San Antonio and major cities across the state in opposing the Texas Legislature’s controversial Bathroom Bill.

“I am honored to be named among this group of powerhouse women and have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for my fellow honorees,” said Matej. “It is my privilege to know and work alongside these women who are the epitome of professional excellence.”

Matej is a leading figure in San Antonio’s $13.6 billion hospitality industry. A year ago, Casandra spearheaded the transition of the bureau from a department of the City of San Antonio to a 501(c)6, a public-private partnership. Matej is active in a number of industry organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association and is the incoming chairman of the Texas Travel Industry Association.

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About Visit San Antonio

Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 20.9 million overnight visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.6 billion into the local economy and employing more than 130,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com

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SAN ANTONIO (September 26, 2017) – Visit San Antonio President & CEO Casandra Matej has been awarded the 2017 Distinguished Affiliate Award by the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). The prestigious honor recognizes outstanding professionalism and exemplary service to the association community. Significant contributions to the employing organization and to professional organizations further characterize the Affiliate Award recipient.

TSAE offers association professionals a community for collaboration and learning and honors outstanding professionals from within the industry annually at its TSAE New Ideas Conference. This year’s conference was held Sept. 17 – 19 in Houston. Additional 2017 honorees included Distinguished Executive award-winner David A. DuBois, CAE, CMP, CTA, FASAE, Professional Excellence award-winner Julie Courtney, CAE, CMP and Young Professional Leadership award-winner Taylor Jackson, CAE, MPA.

“TSAE is excited that our membership named Casandra Matej as the 2017 Distinguished Affiliate. Although Casandra is involved with a number of different industry groups, she always makes you feel like you are the most important one, and you forget she is running a destination marketing organization for the seventh largest city in the county. She has been a dedicated member of this community for a number of years, and we are grateful for her recent leadership in spearheading TSAE’s brand refresh last year, giving us a chance to showcase who we truly are as an organization,” said TSAE Executive Director Steven J. Stout, CAE.

“I am truly humbled to receive this recognition from my peers at TSAE, but it is the support and dedication of the entire Visit San Antonio team that makes it possible” said Matej. “The community of association professionals is dedicated to collaboration, learning and leadership, and it has been an honor to work with them to help move the association industry forward.”

Matej is a leading figure in San Antonio’s $13.6 billion hospitality industry, and her more than two decades of tourism experience have helped guide Visit San Antonio in achieving record highs in convention sales, media coverage and traffic to visitsanantonio.com. A year ago, Casandra spearheaded the transition of the bureau from a department of the City of San Antonio to a 501(c)6, a public-private partnership. Matej is active in a number of industry organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association and is the incoming chairman of the Texas Travel Industry Association.

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About Visit San Antonio

Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 20.9 million overnight visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.6 billion into the local economy and employing more than 130,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com

Photo Caption: Visit San Antonio staff on hand to accept the 2017 TSAE Distinguished Affiliate Award.
From Left to Right: Azari Jones, Casandra Matej, Alysia Roden and Tyler Orwig
Photo Credit: Photo Courtsey of Kayla Prasek Photography

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Following an extensive nationwide search, Visit San Antonio has selected an industry expert with deep knowledge of the San Antonio market to join its executive team. Mario Bass will join Visit San Antonio on October 11 as the new Vice President of Sales and Services.

“One of the foundations of San Antonio’s strong tourism industry is its convention business so it was imperative that the Vice President role have an exceptional leader and proven expert in the field. In Mario Bass we found the motivational and energetic leadership style along with tried and true experience that are ideal fits for our core values and goals,” said Casandra Matej, President and CEO, Visit San Antonio. “With the recent debut of the renovated and expanded Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the forward momentum across the entire destination, we look forward to having Mario lead our continued sales growth for years to come.”

Mr. Bass currently serves as Director of Sales and Marketing for JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry including the flagship Marriott Marquis in New York and the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine as well as nearly 10 years in San Antonio hotels and resorts with strong convention bases.
“The award winning team at Visit San Antonio is renowned in the industry and I’m thrilled to be joining the group of hospitality professionals,” said Mario Bass. “I am looking forward to joining the Sales and Services team in their efforts in keeping San Antonio the preeminent meetings and leisure destination in Texas!”

In his new role, Mr. Bass will provide strategic leadership to the Sales and Destination Services departments of Visit San Antonio. The Sales division is a key player in securing group meetings and industry trade shows which contribute significantly to the San Antonio economy. Additionally, the Sales team is responsible for helping San Antonio maintain a high level of visibility within the meetings industry and maintaining an ongoing communications strategy with key customers. The Destination Services division streamlines the planning process for meeting professionals to create unforgettable meetings and events in San Antonio. Visit San Antonio’s Destination Services team connects planners with local resources, unique venues, dining and entertainment opportunities, and can be an advocate as needs arise.

The position became available following the recent announcement by Steve Clanton, current Vice President of Sales and Services, to retire as of October 20 following a distinguished career of more than 40 years in hospitality and tourism including 12 years with Visit San Antonio (previously the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau) and 25 years with Marriott International.

About Visit San Antonio
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 20.9 million overnight visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.6 billion into the local economy and employing more than 130,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com.

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SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio City Council on Thursday approved a new management agreement that essentially transitions the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau to a new public-private nonprofit called Visit San Antonio.

The management agreement for the 501(c)(6) nonprofit takes effect Oct. 1, with the organization’s staff and structure moving under the Visit San Antonio model on Jan. 1, 2017.

Casandra Matej, executive director of the current SACVB, described the vote as “historic,” adding that the new organization will now be able to pursue other revenue opportunities to market the city’s $13.4 billion tourism industry.

“By approving this management agreement, you will give this new entity more autonomy,” Frank Miceli, who has been appointed chairman of the Visit San Antonio board of directors, told the Council on Thursday.

Miceli, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Franchise Operations for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, added that the new organization “will be better positioned to keep San Antonio squarely in the spotlight as a remarkable destination for visitors.”

Matej stressed that the move to a nonprofit model came after months of collaborative work between the City Council, SACVB, industry leaders and other community stakeholders.

San Antonio’s CVB was formed in 1968 following the city’s role as host of the international HemisFair. The city, which attracts more than 32 million visitors annually, has been a perennial leader in the travel and meetings market in Texas, but has seen that dominance tested in recent years as other destinations have grown their budgets.

With a more nimble speed-to-market capability under the new Visit San Antonio structure, Matej and other leaders hope to see the organization’s marketing budget and operations grow to keep pace with the rising competition.

“Today, the City Council took a huge step,” said Matej, who has headed San Antonio’s destination management organization since 2011. “This allows us to be more agile, able to react quickly to changing market conditions.

“It’s a transformative time in San Antonio,” added Matej, who will head the new Visit San Antonio, “and this is a transformative moment.”

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, a current member of the Convention & Visitors Commission who also is a charter member of the Visit San Antonio board, noted that the historic transition to a more powerful public-private nonprofit is timely. San Antonio will be celebrating its Tricentennial in 2018.

Recently, San Antonio’s five Spanish colonial missions, including the Alamo, were named a World Heritage Site, the only such designation in the State of Texas.

Viagran said San Antonio is in “a new era of tourism.” She added, “We are all working together to make it the best.”

For more information, visit SATravelsForward.com.

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The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau is a department of the City of San Antonio, and is the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 32.5 million visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $13.4 billion into the local economy annually and employing 122,500. For more information, visit www.visitsanantonio.com

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