The 2019 Annual Meeting allowed our stakeholders to go "All In" as we shape tourism in Aurora, Colorado.
On November 21, we hosted our first-ever Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center to inform our stakeholders, and the community, of our successes as well as our future plans to enhance tourism in Aurora.
With nearly 270 industry professionals in attendance, this was Visit Aurora’s largest event to date. The theme, “All In”, showcased our commitment to the expansion, preservation, and new chapter of Aurora, Colorado as a premier destination for convention, business and leisure travelers.
Thanks to our Showcase Sponsors, our pre-meeting networking hour was filled with things to do. The Hyatt Regency was transformed into a wintery scene, complete with pine trees and Spirit the Wolf, who was available for pictures, with help from RMC. Attendees snapped photos at the Town Center of Aurora photo wall, played giant Jenga with PunchBowl Social Stapleton, and competed in a friendly game of Hammerschlagen with ACCESS DMC. Southlands offered an all-season pass to The Pond ice rink while TopGolf Centennial encouraged attendees to put on their miniature green for a prize.
Master of Ceremonies, Gary Schirmacher led the program while inviting attendees to join the “All In” mentality. Later on, Darren Dunn, CEO of Entrata Insights, provided detailed information about traveler trends in Aurora during a Q&A panel. Keynote speaker, Cathy Breden, highlighted the importance of face-to-face meetings in the new digital era.
Highlighting some of the frontline employees who make hospitality in Aurora superior was also an important part of the Annual Meeting. We recognized the three 2019 Far From Ordinary Award recipients during the event:
- Tom Cooney, Springhill Suites Denver Airport
- Richard Pfluger, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center
- Hunter Monroe, Hilton Denver Inverness
With the community in mind, supporting the future of tourism was also a primary focus of the Annual Meeting. We announced our very first “Spirit of Hospitality Scholarship” recipient, Samantha Stuart, previous Visit Aurora high school intern. Samantha received $1,500 for higher education.
Furthering the commitment of supporting future hospitality leaders, Table Sponsor, Johnson & Wales University, announced their partnership with the Visit Aurora scholarship program by providing an additional $1,500 scholarship with the opportunity for additional grants and financial aid if the student chooses to attend the university. Applications for the Spirit of Hospitality Scholarship backed by the Johnson and Wales partnership will open in 2020.
As 2019 comes to a close, we gathered our impact and key results. The Year In Review video gave attendees a summary of our efforts while highlighting the important role tourism plays in economic growth. View the video:
We want to thank everyone who made our 2019 Annual Meeting a success. You make it possible for us to succeed. Thank you.
Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center
Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center
Town Center of Aurora
Punch Bowl Social
City of Aurora
Wings Over the Rockies
The Aurora Highlands
Presidential Worldwide Transportation
Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel
The Aurora Chamber of Commerce
On Havana Street
City of Aurora
Aurora Economic Development Council
Red Canoe Promotions
Peak to Peak Tap & Brew
Legends of Aurora Sports Grill
Create Cooking School
National Western Stock Show
Johnson & Wales University
Tiger Oak Media
From the Hip Photo