For its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2008, the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau in Fort Worth, Texas, booked a record-breaking 258,000 convention- and meeting-related room nights, it announced this month. That's double the room nights booked in the previous fiscal year, reports local paper the Star-Telegram, and more than the bureau's goal of 250,000—which it set as a promise to the City of Forth Worth in exchange for a $2 million increase in its annual budget.
"The last couple of weeks of our fiscal year, we worked really hard to meet our goal," CVB CEO David DuBois told the Star-Telegram.
According to the bureau, hotel-occupancy tax receipts collected by the city this fiscal year increased, as well, to $17.1 million from $15.4 million. Also up, it says, was the number of booked events, which was up 70 percent to 312.
"We have had a beautiful downtown for a long time but nowhere for people to sleep," CVB Chair Johnny Campbell told the Star-Telegram.
That's now changing, DuBois suggested, thanks to a renovated 400-room Sheraton that opened in Fort Worth in June, as well as a new 600-room Omni hotel that's scheduled to open there in January 2009. Although area hotels are lowering their occupancy-rate projections for 2009 because of the U.S. economy, he said, he's confident that those properties will help the CVB book more than 300,000 room nights in its next fiscal year.