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Economic Impact

What is the Rochester Convention & Visitor Bureau?

Convention and visitor bureaus are not-for-profit organizations charged with representing a specific destination and helping the long-term development of communities through a travel and tourism strategy. Convention and visitor bureaus bring together businesses that rely on tourism and meetings for revenue.

For visitors, CVBs are like a key to the city. As an unbiased resource, CVBs can serve as a broker or an official point of contact for convention and meeting planners, tour operators and visitors. They assist planners with meeting preparation and encourage business travelers and visitors alike to visit local historic, cultural and recreational sites.

Funding for the CVBs, including the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau (RCVB), comes from a local lodging tax that is collected from visitors staying in local hotels. The current lodging tax in Rochester is 7% total with 1% of this distributed to the City's General Fund, 1% is distributed toward the operations of the Mayo Civic Center, 2% is provided to the RCVB for their sales and marketing efforts, and 3% is provided to the construction of the convention center expansion at the Mayo Civic Center.

The Rochester CVB is governed by a board of directors which normally meets on the first Tuesday of each month at noon. If you have any business for the RCVB Board of Directors please contact Brad Jones, Executive Director.

The mission of the RCVB is to create a public/private partnership to promote Rochester as a convention, sports and leisure destination in the state, regional, and national marketplace.

What is the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission?

The Rochester Amateur Sports Commission (RASC) was created in 1991 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The primary objective of the RASC is to promote amateur sports in the Rochester area by attracting amateur athletic events to the city.

The RASC works closely with the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau to identify and attract various sports events. While the RCVB helps to attract the events it is the responsibility of the RASC to organize and administer these events. The RCVB employs staff that is designated to run the RASC operations. All operation costs are the responsibility of the RASC. While the objective may be to attract amateur sports this is done with economic impact to the community as a main goal.

Why are meetings, sports and tourism important?

Travel and tourism enhances the quality of life for a local community by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for improvement of services and infrastructure, and attracting facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals, and cultural and sporting venues that cater to both visitors and locals.

Travel and tourism is one of the world's largest service exports and largest employers. In the United States, travel and tourism employs 7.9 million. The industry generates $133.9 billion in tax revenues (2013 US Travel, www.ustravel.org). Indeed, travel and tourism is an economic engine and CVBs are the key drivers.

What is the impact of Rochester meetings, sports, and tourism?

Rochester's hospitality industry is the community's second largest employer with over 12,000 full-time employees. In addition to jobs, the industry contributes over $535 million overall economic impact and produces $48 million in tax revenue generated in the form of property, sales and use taxes. This money supports community priorities such as public safety and public works and supplements the local citizens' tax burdens.

The RCVB and RASC annual sales efforts for conventions, meetings and sports events alone yield a $78 million return to the City of Rochester in 2013. Approximately 127,300 visitors will attend convention and sporting events attracted to the city by the RCVB and RASC in 2014.

The Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau is also a critical partner in delivering an exceptional experience to our unique medical visitor. It has committed resources, time and talent in delivering visitor information to over 2.76 million visitors annually, conducting sales and marketing campaigns as well as working with Mayo Clinic and the hospitality industry on initiatives such as Destination Medical Center.

View the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau 2014 Report to the Community.