September 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline

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CVB: Let’s Ease Strife Cincinnati is trying to recover after more than a year of race-related setbacks to convention business. “We are taking a very proactive position,” said Lisa Haller, president of the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Image Haller cited the CVB’s Business Retention Plan as an effort to help some 75 conventions scheduled over the next two years. The plan includes actively addressing the concerns of groups and conducting diversity training for bureau and hotel employees.

The situation dates from April 2001, when an unarmed African American was shot and killed by a white police officer. Riots ensued, after which various coalitions formed to boycott tourism-related and other events in the city a move the CVB said has cost Cincinnati more than $10 million in lost revenue. It looked as if the boycott might be easing in July, when the National Urban League said it would hold its 2003 convention here. But the league pulled out following news that the city’s highest-ranking African-American police officer was suspended for allegedly filing a fraudulent accident report.

In addition to the new action plan, CVB sources note that the planned expansion of the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center is going full speed ahead.


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