2016 CVB Selfie Contest: Southwest

san-antonioSan Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Meet Casandra Matej, executive director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Clyde. Whether it’s one of the 32.5 million visitors who head to San Antonio annually or one of the delightful inhabitants of Sea World San Antonio, like Clyde, all creatures feel a warmth here every bit as real as the sunshine that basks our city for more than 300 days a year. San Antonio, charming and authentic, ranks as one of the top tourism and meeting destinations in the world because it treats visitors like family. Its diverse landscape offers the high-energy appeal of family-friendly entertainment, such as Six Flags Fiesta Texas, with the relaxing draw of its World Heritage-designated Spanish Colonial missions, including the Alamo and lovely River Walk. Throw in an array of outstanding meeting facilities, including the transformed Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, and it adds up to an unforgettable experience for everyone.
–Casandra Matej, executive director


phoenixVisit Phoenix

A highlight of any visit to Greater Phoenix is the area’s rich arts-and-culture environment. Performances at a multitude of theaters, concert halls and cultural centers are constant attractions, while art and history lovers flock to a diverse group of fascinating museums. The tradition, culture and history of 22 regional American Indian tribes converge in the Heard Museum’s immersive exhibits and authentic art shop. Through art and cultural objects, the museum’s ongoing exhibits tell the stories of native people of the Southwest, from early history to powerful memories of boarding schools. The museum, which hosts 200,000 visitors a year, features 11 spacious exhibit galleries and beautiful outdoor courtyards that showcase outstanding traditional and contemporary American Indian art.
−James Jessie, senior vice president of sales


okcOklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Born in a single day at the sound of a gunshot, Oklahoma City was settled by a historic land run. That same pioneer spirit is alive today as the city undergoes a renaissance. The last 10 years have dramatically changed the city’s face with a professional sports presence, thriving arts culture and ever-growing restaurant scene. This Ferris wheel that once graced Santa Monica Pier has been given new life as the cornerstone of the Wheeler District, the city’s newest development. With our rich history and bright future, we guarantee that OKC-ing is believing. So book a flight or take a drive, and come on down to #SeeOKC.
–Taylor Voth, social media manager


tempeTempe Tourism Office, Arizona

We call Tempe “refreshingly Arizona.” That means you’ll find the unexpected—a lake in the middle of our city, historic buildings next to new developments in Downtown Tempe and the largest university in the United States. Tempe Center for the Arts is a beautiful arts facility on the shore of Tempe Town Lake. When Arizona hosted the Super Bowl in 2015, it was the venue for the NFL’s VIP owners and sponsor party. It’s a place where Childsplay performs for young audiences, where music lovers can watch a concert and where meeting planners can have a memorable event for their attendees. Tempe Center for the Arts is just one of the special places in Tempe that will make your next event the best show in town.
–Stephanie Nowack, president and CEO


santa-feTourism Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe has always been the mecca for those who love margaritas. They say all trails lead to Santa Fe and in fact, the first place tequila got exported was up the El Camino Real trail to “The City Different.” Now centuries of Santa Fe trail tradition have led to the creation of The Santa Fe Margarita Trail. Trail groups and adventurers have a distinct opportunity to discover Santa Fe’s unique culture and world-renowned culinary creativity while enjoying specialty-crafted margaritas made famous by the city’s best restaurants and bars. There are 31 delicious, 100 percent agave tequila margaritas on the trail to tantalize your taste buds. The Santa Fe Margarita Trail promises to be one of your meeting’s most memorable Santa Fe adventures. Salud!
–Randy Randall, executive director


maura-gast-irving 2016 cvb selfieIrving Convention and Visitors Bureau, Texas

On the opposite side of town from the hustle and bustle of Irving’s Las Colinas Urban Center is a much quieter part of town known as the Heritage District. It’s here where Irving was founded in 1903, and where the Texas Musicians Museum opened last year. It’s also where you can find Big State Fountain and Grill, a former drug store that opened in 1948. The pharmacy is gone, but the counter where loyal customers have been getting their hamburger fix for more than half a century remains. It’s not only a hidden gem, but one of my favorite places to stop for an old-fashion ice cream soda and simply wax nostalgic.
−Maura Gast, FCDME, executive director


taniaarmenta_albuquerque-1Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau

Atop the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains, visitors begin to understand how Albuquerque can change your perspective. The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway—known for providing an unmatched 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Land of Enchantment—commemorated its 50th anniversary in May of this year and celebrated with the unveiling of new tram cars. Nestled below in the Rio Grande Valley lies the heart of New Mexico, where a vibrant, modern downtown district complements the history of ancient cultures. The redeveloped Albuquerque Convention Center provides a glimpse into the more than $300 million in hospitality investments and planned developments reshaping the city’s skyline. 2017 will bring the opening of luxury property Hotel Chaco and a new downtown entertainment district. With increased air service at the Albuquerque International Sunport, the destination has a growing list of flights to every major airport hub. Discover what’s new in one of the nation’s oldest cities—and let Albuquerque change your perspective.
−Tania Armenta, president and CEO


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