A combined team effort led by the sales teams at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel, the Bayfront Convention Center and assistance by VisitErie helped secure contracts for numerous large conventions to be held in Erie during 2016 and 2017. These events will provide a significant economic impact in the Erie community.
“We’re looking to break 15 conferences/conventions in 2017 in the corporate and association markets alone,” said Rob Mastro, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel. “That’s more than double any number we have done in the past.”
There are five conventions confirmed for 2016, with the Bayfront Convention Center hosting the Pennsylvania State Fish and Boat Commission Conference, AFSCME Council 13 Non-State Education Conference, Frontiers in Education Conference, THIRST and the PA Chiefs of Police Conference.
For 2017, the first full year of operation for the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel, a record number of 12 conventions/conferences are already confirmed and will include the County Commissioners Association Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, PA Athletic Trainers Annual Conference, AFSCME Council 85 Conference, THIRST, the National Fireworks Association and the PA Orthopedic Society, to name a few. These events are city-wide, with anywhere from 400 to 1,000 hotel room nights booked for each event.
The addition of a premier hotel like the Courtyard by Marriott Bayfront Hotel further enhances the Bayfront Convention Center by providing convenience for customers to host their events and guests under one roof. The Courtyard’s 192 rooms will complement the award-winning Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel’s already existing 200 rooms by providing additional sleeping capacity attached to the Convention Center.
Based on the collaborative efforts between VisitErie, Lake Erie Speedway, the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Bayfront Hotel and the Bayfront Convention Center, the National Fireworks Association booked its conference in Erie the week of Labor Day in 2017. This event contracted 1,300 sleeping rooms between the two hotels on the Bayfront, and will also include other hotels throughout the city.
“This is a game changer you work hard to land,” Mastro said, “booking a national association is not an easy task as they typically go to first tier and second tier city markets. Landing them in Erie for 2017 will drive economic impact not only through hotels, the convention center and the speedway, but also at local restaurants and retail shops.”
“This is just the beginning of what’s to come,” said Lisa DiLuzio, Marketing and Sales Director for the Bayfront Convention Center. “The additional rooms attached to the Bayfront Convention Center will give us leverage to secure larger groups that normally wouldn’t see Erie as a possibility before the Courtyard because of the lack of hotel rooms directly connected to the Bayfront Convention Center.”
The Courtyard will open spring, 2016. Along with the hotel, a 283-space parking deck will open simultaneously to accommodate hotel guests, convention attendees and other visitors to Erie’s magnificent Bayfront.