AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin Convention Center Department (ACCD) was praised by Visit Austin and named the 2022 Bruce Walcutt Spirit of Hospitality Award winner. This award is presented by Visit Austin to individuals or organizations that emulate the true spirit of hospitality and have made a significant impact in the industry and Austin.
“Their impact on the community is immeasurable, but if we were to put a few numbers to it, that would mean over 200 events combined at the Austin Convention Center and Palmer Events Center, which roughly equates to an average annual estimated economic impact of $468.8 million,” said Tom Noonan, President and CEO, Visit Austin.
Noonan also stated that just in the last eight months, the Austin Convention Center has hosted several major events, each contributing significantly to the local economy, including the National Electrical Contractors Association at $9.6 million, AFROTECH at $15.7 million, CoinDesk Consensus at $29.2 million and SXSW at $280 million in estimated economic impact.
At the Visit Austin Annual Meeting, ACCD was also applauded for its community service, supporting, and backing the area during the health crisis and bad weather events.
“I am so proud of our ACCD teams who faithfully work to serve not just our clients but the entire Austin community,” said Trisha Tatro, Director of the Austin Convention Center Department. “This award truly reflects the spirit and heart of our staff and partners who are committed to our mission of being the best in customer service, contributing members of our community, and providing outstanding facilities and services.”
In 2020, ACCD backed the Austin community by logging almost 19,000 hours and donating 11,000 pounds of food to shelters and food banks. Through the Eating Apart Together initiative, ACCD provided more than 500,000 meals and through the Dell Face Shield Project, provided more than 10,000 face coverings. The ACCD team also mobilized to serve community needs with Convention and Palmer Events Centers staging as Alternate Care Facilities.
When bad weather hit, the Austin Convention Center offered a safe place to stay as a Hurricane Shelter during Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Harvey, and Laura, as well as a warm shelter during Winter Storm Uri.
“When all other doors were shut, the Convention Center’s doors were open,” said Noonan. “Over the years, both the ACC and PEC have invested time, resources, money, and efforts into supporting all things Austin by showcasing local art, sponsoring community events, donating school supplies and backpacks, tutoring, mentorship, summer internships and so much more.”
Visit Austin also recognized the 30th anniversary of the Austin Convention Center and the 20-year history of the Palmer Events Center for hosting countless events, meetings, and convention groups big and small, and for serving as a beacon for the meeting and tourism industry in Austin.
Previous recipients of the Bruce Walcutt Spirit of Hospitality Award include South by Southwest, Tito Beveridge, Bob Lander, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Circuit of the Americas, and many others.
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