About Destination El Paso
Destination El Paso presents a platform representing the economic development and creativity of the intersection of El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces to spur tourism and industry advancements.
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Latest Destination El Paso News
Mar 3, 2014
Font Resize Destination El Paso: C-USA Tournament expected to bring $4.1M The city and county are finalizing financial documents that will cover site and event expenses, as well as revenue guarantees to the conference Posted: 03/02/2014 11:35:14 PM MST UTEP's Vince Hunter tries to maintain control as he's double teamed by Louisiana Tech. (Times file photo) As the 2014 Conference USA Basketball Tournament heads to El Paso next week, the city and county are finalizing financial documents that will cover site and event expenses as well as revenue guarantees to the conference. The city and county, together with the University of Texas at El Paso, Destination El Paso and the El Paso Sports Commission, in 2012 won a bid to host this year's tournament. The partnership put up half-a-million dollars in guarantees for that right. Athletic conferences often require guaranteed revenues in exchange for allowing cities to host tournaments and earn sales and hotel tax revenue, as well as attract visitors and national exposure to the host cities. REPORTER Cindy Ramirez "We are excited and are proud of the partnerships we have locally but also with the conference to be able to bring this to the city once again," said Bryan Crowe, general manager of Destination El Paso (formerly the Convention and Visitors Bureau). The men's and women's conference championships will be at UTEP March 11 to 15, and will coincide with the university's yearlong centennial celebration. Sixteen universities, including UTEP, will participate. Crowe said the event is expected to have an economic impact of up to $4.1 million. By the numbers The tournament's expenses for the city are estimated at $1.1 million — including the $500,000 guarantee — and is expected to generate about $1.4 million in ticket sales, Crowe said. Any revenues above the guaranteed amount would be split between UTEP and C-USA, Crowe added. If ticket sales and revenues are below that guarantee, however, the Sports Commission will pay for the first $50,000 of the shortfall. It could also pay the county's guaranteed share of up to $225,000. The El Paso County Commissioners today (on Monday) are expected to approve the Sports Commission's offer to pay for the county's obligation for any revenue shortfall. Sports Commission CEO Bryan Kennedy said the proposal is in part because he doesn't believe there will be a shortfall. About 83 percent of the county's hotel taxes go to support the commission, a nonprofit organization that operates the El Paso County Coliseum and works to bring athletic events to the area. "The county's hotel taxes go to the commission, so although I don't anticipate it will be needed, any shortfall would come from those taxes directly or indirectly," Kennedy said. The city's stake The conference fees were also discussed by the City Council last week, when it approved dispersing funds the city had previously committed to support the event. The council in October 2011 approved $750,000 for Destination El Paso to bid and negotiate with C-USA to bring this year's tournament to El Paso. The council at that time also approved and additional $250,000 as needed to compete with other cities bidding for the tournament. The C-USA board of directors in June 2012 voted to have El Paso and UTEP host the tournament. UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull said that the university won the bid with only the $500,000 guarantee mostly because of the success of the 2011 tournament. El Paso hosted the event in 2011 for the first time, and it was estimated to have had an economic impact of $2.5 million. The city and other entities in 2009 offered a $1 million guarantee for the 2011 tournament. That tournament had expenses of about $1.422 million and revenues of about $1.373 million — with the Sports Commission paying for the $49,800 shortfall. "It's a big boost for the city and for UTEP," Stull said. "You have 32 teams, managers, coaches, bands, cheer squads, alumni, administrators and families coming to El Paso, staying at our hotels, eating at our restaurants, shopping and visiting the city. " Under the agreement, the city will pay up to $225,000 if there's a shortfall in expected revenues, and up to $10,00 for other miscellaneous event expenses. The city also agreed to pay a site fee of $100,000, although that cost came into question last week when Mayor Oscar Leeser asked whether that was part of the original deal. Crowe said the city has paid the fee in the past, but that it had to be structured differently and separately this year to qualify for state funds. To that end, the council last week also approved paying $25,967 for the event, which allows it to qualify for up to nearly $188,300 in reimbursements from the state. That reimbursement is under the Texas Events Trust Fund, which is set up to help cities offset the costs of hosting events that draw out-of-state visitors to Texas. That's in part because the money visitors spend increases tax revenues for the state and local governments. "We're extremely hopeful we won't have any shortfall this year because of the excitement that's building for the tournament," Stull said. "You have five teams within points of one another for first place, and UTEP is a big contender. " Cindy Ramirez may be reached at 546-6151.
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Where is Destination El Paso's headquarters?
Destination El Paso's headquarters is located at 123 W. Mills Ave., El Paso.