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Convention & Visitors Bureau Launches New Brand Amid Highest Demand for Hotels in NKY Ever

The Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new brand identity and website at its annual meeting in Downtown Covington on Thursday evening.

meetNKY.com will be the new online domain for the bureau which had previously used NorthernKentuckyCVB.com. The new logo was conceived by Eric Mower and Associates of Cincinnati.

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Meanwhile, the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau is celebrating the best year ever for hotel room demand in the region.

Occupancy for the year was 60.87 percent, the highest level since 1998, and an increase of 6.45 percent over 2012.  The average daily rate for a hotel room in Northern Kentucky increased 3.48 percent in 2013 to $85.56, making that the highest on record also. 

Overall, the Northern Kentucky tourism and meeting industry had an economic impact of almost $330 million in 2013, with $161 million attributable to lodging, $74 million to restaurants, $40 million to shopping, $25 million to entertainment, and $20 million to local transportation. The remaining $9 million falls into other services.   Of that $330 million, $60.1 million can be directly attributed to Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitor Bureau’s marketing efforts, according to a news release.  That is a $14.18 return to the community for each $1 the bureau invested in marketing in 2013.

“We have much to celebrate today,” said Eric Summe, President and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau. “In addition to looking back on a successful year, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of our founding in 1974. We are also looking ahead, strengthening our positioning for future meetings and conventions with our new branding initiative.”

Originally begun in 1974 as the Northern Kentucky Tourist, Recreation and Convention Commission, the NKYCVB has seen an explosion of growth in the past 40 years, from a small visitor center in MainStrasse Village, to an award-winning, nationally recognized convention destination.

“Northern Kentucky has been very fortunate to have had the leadership, guidance and foresight of so many great chairpersons, the support and commitment of the three counties we serve, and a dynamic hospitality community which delivers an exceptional product. This is a committed hospitality community and we are successful due to many, many dedicated individuals,” Summe said.

The majority of hotel rooms consumed by market segment in Northern Kentucky last year were corporate at almost 41 percent, followed by leisure rooms at nearly 37 percent.  Meetings and conventions accounted for 20 percent, and government rooms accounted for 2 percent.

Keynote speaker Bob Stewart, Secretary of Travel, Arts & Heritage for the Commonwealth of Kentucky spoke to the power of tourism in the region and the state.

The NKYCVB also presented its Star of Tourism award to Southbank Partners in recognition of their ongoing efforts to transform the Kentucky riverfront, most notably with the Riverfront Commons project.  Jack Moreland and Joyce McMullin were on hand to accept the award.

According to materials passed out at the annual meeting, the largest meetings in Northern Kentucky in 2013 were the Ruritan National (January; 2,200 room nights, 1,000 people), Gateway Community & Technical College (May; 900 room nights, 500 people), Retail Jewelers Association (July; 1,500 room nights, 725 people), and the Fraternal Order of Police, which was shared with Cincinnati's bureau (August (3,700 room nights, 1,300 people).

The Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau also said that it is looking forward to new attractions in the region that will help boost its appeal for more meetings, including the renovation of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, the opening of The Hotel Covington, the Ark Encounter biblical theme park in Grant County, and Riverfront Commons along the river.