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Who We Are & What We Do

Enhancing and Retaining Assets - From the President's Desk.

The Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance (HTA) has proudly been doing its vital part for the past 30 years with major tourism projects and initiatives which have been critical in making the Charlotte region a premier travel, convention, and events destination.

 

The remarkable growth of our hospitality industry which currently generates over $7.9 Billion in annual economic impact in Mecklenburg County, would not have been possible without the industry’s willingness for advocating to invest in hospitality revenue generating assets through specific hospitality taxes dedicated to building, maintaining, enhancing, and retaining those assets. The return on those investments (8% occupancy tax, 1% prepared food & beverage tax, car rental taxes,) have been phenomenal, as indicated by room revenue of $1.01 billion and food & beverage revenue of $5.12 Billion for the fiscal year of 2023 in Mecklenburg County.

 

Some of these tourism revenue generating assets were established more than 30 years ago, have been producing fantastic results, but they need to be maintained and enhanced to generate more events and tourism revenues.

 

The HTA has been focused on communicating the importance of maintaining, enhancing, building, and retaining tourism assets and has done its part with the following developments:

 

  • Facilitating financing to build the Charlotte Convention Center in the early 90’s, and recent major upgrades to the center.

 

  • Building of our NBA Arena (Spectrum Center which opened in 2005), upgrading the arena to secure the 2019 NBA All Star Event and the recent $200 million+ hospitality investment to drastically improve the arena and secure the NBA Hornets for Charlotte through 2045.

 

  • Building of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Crown Ball Room.

 

  • Hospitality Investment in the last upgrades of the Bank of America Stadium (Home of the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC), which has enabled our city to host mega concerts, major college football games, and international soccer games. We are currently working on our next major stadium upgrades to accommodate more mega tourism events and securing a long-term commitment to Charlotte from the Carolina Panthers/Charlotte FC.

 

  • Staying focused on making sure that our awesome Charlotte Douglas International Airport and our airline (American Airlines) continue to prosper. We are grateful to our state legislators who voted to extend the sunset on a Jet Fuel Tax Exemption, which has been critical for the massive growth of our airport.

 

The above list is only a sample of initiatives that are vital for the growth and prosperity of our region’s hospitality business and overall economy.

 

We recognize the value of not taking any of our assets for granted and learned a tough lesson about the importance of retaining assets when we lost the opportunity of getting a mega tennis complex and tennis tournament. While our state, city, county, and hospitality industry did everything possible to attract this mega deal, the state of Ohio and city of Cincinnati (Mason) ultimately provided much more than us to retain their major tourism generating asset.

 

Thanks to the hard work of our state legislators in passing a legislation two weeks ago (Senate Bill 154) to extend a sunset on Mecklenburg County’s existing 1% Food & Beverage Tax, our industry and Charlotte now have the financial capabilities to invest in maintaining, enhancing, building, and retaining, tourism revenue generating assets. Stay tuned and get ready for an NFL Draft Party in Charlotte soon.

 

Allow me to touch on the following items:

 

  1. Tuesday November 7th is Election Day. If you have not already voted, please vote tomorrow, or keep your political opinions to yourself for the next two years.

 

  1. Congratulations to Ryan Blaney for winning the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

 

  1. Carowinds is merging with Six Flags.

Cedar Fair, which owns Carowinds Amusement Park, is merging with Six Flags Entertainment Corp (headquartered in Arlington, Texas) in an $8 Billion merger to create a mega amusement park company, which will have 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks, and nine resorts in 17 states in America, as well as Canada and Mexico. The combined company will be headquartered in Charlotte. Richard Zimmerman, Cedar Fair’s president and CEO (who already lives in Charlotte) will be the CEO of the new company. Please visit carowinds.com for information about the parks holiday events including Winterfest.

 

  1. Congratulations to our Major League Soccer Team (Charlotte FC) for defeating the MLS team from Miami (Inter Miami) and Lionel Messi (best soccer player in the world) on Saturday October 27th in front of a nearly sold-out Bank of America Stadium and advancing to their first playoff round.

 

  1. Congratulations to Charlotte Independence Soccer Team for reaching the USL League One Finals against Raleigh’s North Carolina FC. The final game which was in Raleigh on Sunday November 5th ended in a 1-1 tie with North Carolina FC winning 5-4 in the penalty shootout.

 

  1. Events at Spectrum Center. While our Charlotte NBA Hornets have already started their 2023 NBA season, get ready for numerous other events at the arena including:

  • Rematch of 2022 Women’s Basketball Championship game when University of Iowa plays Virginia Tech at 8pm on Thursday, November 9th.

  • Jumpman Invitational Basketball Tournament (men and women) featuring the University of Florida (men) vs Michigan (men) at 7pm, and North Carolina (women) vs Oklahoma (women) at 9pm on Tuesday December 19th. Then on Wednesday, December 20th Florida (women) play Michigan (women) at 6:30pm and North Carolina (men) play Oklahoma (men) at 9pm.

  • Get ready for a major line up of concerts at Spectrum Center starting with The Eagles concert on Tuesday November 7th. Visit spectrumcentercharlotte.com/events for a list of all events at Spectrum Center.

 

  1. Visit charlottecheckers.com for a list of Charlotte Checkers Hockey Club matches. Don’t forget the Queen City Outdoor Classic as our Charlotte Checkers play the Rochester American’s outdoors at Truist Field on Saturday January 13th at 7pm.

 

  1. Events at Charlotte Knights Stadium (Truist Field). Aside from the Checkers outdoor hockey game on Saturday January 13th, the stadium is packed with events during the holiday season with ice skating, snow tubing, shopping, and Christmas décor/ lights starting on November 22nd (https://www.milb.com/charlotte-knights/ballpark/christmas).

 

  1. Events at the Bank of America Stadium. The fantastic annual ACC Football Championship Game for 2023 will be held at the stadium on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023, at 8pm. While the NFL football schedule is mostly occupying events at the stadium, there are major upcoming concerts, with more to come. (www.panthers.com)

 

  1. North Carolina State has appropriated $45 Million to speed up fixing the disastrous intersection (ramp) at I-85 South and I-485. The traffic nightmare in that whole area is mainly caused by the ultra-inefficient design of this intersection.

 

  1. A great holiday gift: goplaysavecharlotte.com (A Corporate Member of the HTA) has helped save millions for many over the years and their coupon books make a great gift for employees, customers, and prospects. (See attached for bulk saving and delivery options).

 

Are you ready for the best business party of 2024? For the past 30 years, the Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance (HTA) Annual Gala Event has been known as the best business party of the year in the Carolinas and beyond. We invite you to join us for the HTA’s 30th Annual Gala Event, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 11th, 2024, at the Crown Ball Room of the Charlotte Convention Center.

 

This popular Las Vegas style event is a black-tie optional event and includes:

  • A tremendous open bar reception and magnificent dinner

  • Silent Auction including fabulous staycations, dining experiences, out of town getaways, and explore Charlotte activities.

  • A fun-filled night of prize and cash giveaways, including a $5000.00 grand prize, cruises to the Bahamas and a trip for (2) to Las Vegas.

  • Special Table Sponsor Drawing

  • Prizes for each attendee at every table

  • Private concert

 

This fun occasion has become the best business development event for HTA members as most Table Sponsors invite associates and clients at their table for a super entertaining night of building and enhancing business relationships while enjoying a fantastic reception, dinner, fun filled night of prize and cash giveaways and a private concert.

 

This event has sold out in advance for many years and we ask you to please complete the attached ticket registration form and email it back to Carson Little (carson@charlottehta.com) or call the HTA’s office at (704)-331-0079.

 

For additional information regarding this fabulous event and HTA’s other events, please visit www.charlottehta.com.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our HTA members for your membership, involvement, and allowing us to be a relentless advocate for your business, our region’s hospitality industry, and our community.

 

We are grateful to have your support and look forward to seeing you at the following HTA Events:

  • January 30th General Meeting at Sheraton Le Meridien Hotel Complex (2:30pm-4:45pm)

  • March Golf Tournament - Wednesday, March 27th at Highland Creek Golf Club

  • HTA’s 30th Annual Dinner & Gala Event – Thursday, April 11, 2024, (6pm-9pm) at the Charlotte Convention Center – Crown Ballroom

 

As always, please let us know how we can better serve you and your business.

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Mission

The Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance (HTA) has been the premier voice of our region's hospitality & tourism industry since it was established by the leaders of the industry in 1994. Over the years the HTA's leadership has proudly and relentlessly been vital in efforts that have made our region a premier destination. We are proud to have been a major part of developing the Charlotte Convention Center, Spectrum Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, $200 million Arts & Cultural Complex, Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte Knights Baseball Stadium and many initiatives which have made the Charlotte region a great travel, event and convention destination.

Our Impact

As a full-time membership association representing a variety of different businesses in the Greater Charlotte area, we have proudly become known as a major economic development driver for our region and one of the most effective business organization in the Carolinas. Our mission and specific priorities are simply focused on leading initiatives that are essential in maximizing the bottom lines of all HTA members' businesses. If you are not a member of our very pro-active and members' bottom line oriented association, we would love to have the pleasure of working with you in maximizing your business opportunities.

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