In 1984, the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau hooked a big one - the National Tour Association convention in Salt Lake City Oct. 29-Nov. 3, 1989.
With just a year left before the event, tourism and convention officials are shifting into high gear to ensure that participation at the 1989 convention is high.Members of the Utah Division of Travel Development and the convention and visitors bureau were briefed Wednesday on a production scheduled for the NTA convention in Kansas City Nov. 15. Utah officials hope the production will prompt this year's conventiongoers to attend next year's convention.
The price to stimulate that interest: $200,000.
That breaks down to $80,000 for the stage and show production; $55,000 to host a banquet; $50,000 for an audio-visual presentation, printing and promotion work; and $15,000 for a reception.
So far, $190,000 has been raised with the visitors bureau and travel division paying $75,000 each and $40,000 coming from companies and travel regions, said Rick Davis, convention bureau president.
And Davis and Jay Woolley, division director, say the money is well spent.
"The convention will be one of the most important events Salt Lake City and the state have ever hosted. Not only will delegates be spending $3.5 million while they're here, they'll also be getting a first-hand look at the city and the state," Woolley said.
Other states and cities have seen dramatic increases in group tours after hosting the NTA convention, Woolley said.
In Kansas City, about 50 Utahns, dressed in identical blazers sporting a "This is the Place Salt Lake" logo, will present a musical production.
NTA is the largest organization of group tour operators, hotels, motels and resorts in North America, Davis said. In addition to attending the convention, the 3,200 delegates also will go on tours of the area before and after the meetings and probably will be booking tours in the process, he said.