Hartford Articles http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/rss/ Recent Articles - Press Releases Fri, 06 Dec 2019 21:10:30 GMT CT Rep. Caroline B. Simmons Elected to CTCSB Board http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CT-Rep-Caroline-B-Simmons-Elected-to-CTCSB-Board/1096/ Connecticut State Rep. Caroline B. Simmons of Stamford, Conn., has been elected to the Board of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB). Rep. Simmons represents the 144th District in Stamford and is House Chair of the Connecticut State Legislature’s Commerce Committee.    “We are very fortunate that Rep. Caroline Simmons has joined our Board and look forward to working with her as we move into the future,” says Thomas Madden, Chair of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau and the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stamford, Conn. “Her insight and knowledge of legislative business and her relationships with a wide range of residents across our state will enhance the efforts of our Board and our members to generate new and returning conventions, meetings and sports events business for Connecticut.” The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau is the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization; its President is Robert Murdock.   Rep. Simmons is Co-Chair of the Connecticut Young Democrats’ Women’s Caucus, and a member of the Stamford League of Women Voters and the Southwest CT Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She also serves on the Board of the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) in Stamford, where she previously worked, helping to provide entrepreneurial, financial, and professional development training programs for women in Connecticut.   Earlier, Rep. Simmons worked at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for over four years. As Director of Special Projects in the Counterterrorism Coordinator’s Office at Homeland Security, she provided support for DHS’s domestic and international counterterrorism programs. Caroline helped support DHS’s programs and budget for its homeland security team in Kabul, Afghanistan. She also worked to enhance the Department’s countering violent extremism and active shooter awareness and response training for state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers. Prior to this, she interned at the U.S. Department of State for the Middle East Partnership Initiative within the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, where she assisted with economic empowerment programs in the Middle East.   Rep. Simmons received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Master of Arts degree in Middle East Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She also studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and the Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco. She and her husband, Art Linares, live in Stamford and are the proud parents of a son.   Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked by the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $62,989,859 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating $4,272,596 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 17,331 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. (*Destinations International economic calculator FY 2018-19) Wed, 04 Dec 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CT-Rep-Caroline-B-Simmons-Elected-to-CTCSB-Board/1096/ Connecticut Featured in SportsEvents Magazine http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/Connecticut-Featured-in-SportsEvents-Magazine/1095/ Connecticut is featured in SportsEvents Magazine for the month of September. Connecticut is conveniently locatedbetween New York City and Boston in NewEngland. The small state is full of coastalcities, small picturesque towns, major metroareas and lots of history and attractions.And with a state capital that's within a twoand-a-half-hour drive of more than 23.5million people, The Constitution State isalso a prime destination for sporting eventsof all types. "Connecticut is fortunate tohave an extensive range of sports venueson all levels, public and private, collegiateand university, state-owned stadiums andarenas that offer tremendous opportunitiesfor regional tournaments and nationalchampionships," said Robert Murdock,president of the Connecticut Convention& Sports Bureau. "Whether it's golfing at aworld-class golf course, going ziplining andgo-kart racing, playing softball or pickleball,sailing on the Long Island Sound or watchingarena sports like basketball, ice hockeyor boxing, the experiences here will bememorable." Wed, 06 Nov 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/Connecticut-Featured-in-SportsEvents-Magazine/1095/ Taia Lionetti Named Manager of Convention Services & E-Marketing http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/Taia-Lionetti-Named-Manager-of-Convention-Services-E-Marketing/1094/ Taia Lionetti of New Britain, Conn. has joined the Middletown, Conn.-based Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) as Manager of Convention Services & E-Marketing. Lionetti works with meeting planners and event managers who are considering or have booked conventions or conferences in the northern part of Connecticut, servicing their groups’ needs to ensure a successful Connecticut experience. In addition, she manages the CTCSB’s Social Media platforms and online presence.  “Taia Lionetti is a tremendous addition to our Bureau staff and we are excited that she is part of our team,” explains Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “During her impressive internship with our Bureau last year, Taia was instrumental in the development of our internal marketing pieces and our Fall 2018 Sports Newsletter. Her previous knowledge of our office’s operations, our staff, and our partnerships across the state has enabled her to ‘hit the ground running’ as she assists meeting planners and event managers and builds new relationships with convention services providers. Taia manages our Bureau’s convention services for the northern part of Connecticut,” adds Murdock. “Susan Henrique, our Bureau’s Director of Business Development & Convention Services, continues to serve the southern half of the state.”Lionetti is a magna cum laude graduate of Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism. In addition to her Sales & Administration internship at the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, she was an Event Services intern at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Hartford in Bloomfield, Conn. While pursuing her degree, she was employed as a Manager of the CCSU Student Center, responsible for the general supervision of an 80,000-sq.-ft. multi-purpose facility, as well as for two support facilities, and a staff of student employees. Lionetti also worked as an Administrative Assistant for CCSU’s Student Activities/Leadership Development Office, and was President of the school’s Central Activities Network (CAN), a student-run event programming board that planned, promoted and executed campus activitiesA 2019 recipient of the President’s Citation Award at Central Connecticut State University, Lionetti also was named the university’s 2019 David A. Ross Student Leader of the Year, in recognition of her leadership abilities and acting as a role model to others. To contact Taia Lionetti, email taial@ctcsb.org or call 860-882-1102. Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked by the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $62,989,859 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating $4,272,596 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 17,331 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. (*Destinations International’s economic calculator FY 2018-19). Wed, 28 Aug 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/Taia-Lionetti-Named-Manager-of-Convention-Services-E-Marketing/1094/ USSSA Championships Return to Connecticut in New Home in Windsor http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/USSSA-Championships-Return-to-Connecticut-in-New-Home-in-Windsor/1093/ One of the nation’s most successful girls’ fastpitch softball tournaments returns to Connecticut this week, but this time playing at the largest dedicated fastpitch softball complex in the Northeast in Windsor, Conn. and with 73 teams – the most in the tournament’s five-year history. Starting Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27, the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) will host the 2019 Northeast National Championships for 14UB, 16UB and 18UB Divisions at Fastpitch Nation Park at 1001 Day Hill Road in Windsor, Conn. “More than 875 players are expected from nine states, as far away as Colorado, Illinois, Delaware and Maryland, with 3,000 more family, friends, tournament officials and staff,” explains Tournament Director and Host David Rocha, who is also the USSSA Fastpitch State Director for New England. Rocha built the new 11-field Fastpitch Nation Park during the past year to accommodate the growing numbers of athletes who want to compete in this annual tournament and the more than 25 other tournaments he hosts. The park opened this Spring, and Rocha, his staff and USSSA look forward to welcoming this week’s players, their families, tournament officials, and spectators. Today/Monday, July 22 at 1 p.m., the Championship’s opening ceremony and parade of athletes will take place outside the entrance of Six Flags Amusement Park at 1623 Main St. Agawam, Mass. The event will feature welcomes from both Tournament Director David Rocha, the Fastpitch State Director for New England for USSSA, the largest multi-sport sanctioning body in the nation, and from Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB). Tournament play will start on Tuesday, July 23 at 8 a.m. at David Rocha’s newly built 21-acre Fastpitch Nation Park at 1001 Day Hill Road in Windsor, Conn. features 11 regulation fully-fenced fastpitch fields and a 3,200-sq.-ft. barn-like building (to complement the surrounding countryside) for retail, storage and real bathrooms with 11 stalls for women and seven for men. The last games each day begin at approx. 4 p.m. This is a busy month for Rocha and his ballpark team – on July 8-13, they hosted smaller 2019 Northeast National Championships for 10U Open and 12U Open Divisions which attracted 2,000 players on 45 teams.  “These two tournaments feature some of the best fastpitch umpires from all over New England, New York, New Jersey,” explains David Rocha, owner of the new Fastpitch Nation Park and of Fastpitch Nation in Bloomfield, Conn., the state’s largest indoor fastpitch training facility that annually hosts over 450 indoor softball games as well as tournaments, leagues, lessons and clinics. “Teams will face off, first in pool play, then in double elimination for the championship. Trophies will be given to the top four teams in each division, and awards will be given for Sportsmanship, Outstanding Pitcher, Outstanding Offensive Player, Outstanding Defensive Player, and Most Valuable Player.” “We congratulate David Rocha, the USSSA, and the new Fastpitch Nation Park for building participation and attendance at these popular tournaments,” says Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “This coming week’s tournament alone is expected to generate $2,652,954 for the Greater Hartford region, as players and attendees will visit area restaurants, use local hotels, shop in stores, and visit nearby attractions, benefitting the local economies. “That’s $500,000 more in spending than in 2018, when play was split between East Hartford and Southington athletic fields to meet the demand for space. Add to that, the success of last week’s tournament, when players and attendees generated over $1.5 Million during their stay here.” “For the fifth consecutive year, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau is managing both of the tournaments’ hotel reservation process and has booked nearly 5,000 overnight room nights at 28 hotels in East Hartford, Manchester, Windsor, East Windsor, Windsor Locks, Glastonbury, Avon, Newington, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill and Farmington,” notes Murdock. He reports that spending by visitors during the two tournaments will support a total of 770 tourism-related jobs, resulting in a total of $291,584 for the State in Connecticut Sales Tax. The state-of-the-art Fastpitch Nation Park complex features weather-resilient red Alabama shale infields, natural turf outfields and 100-foot-wide panoramic netted backstops for the best spectator viewing. Other amenities include ample paved parking, LED scoreboards, spacious covered dugouts, more than two acres of team warm-up space, an outdoor food court and live internet streaming of all games played.  For Tournament game schedule and more information, https://fastpitchnation.net/world-series-national-championships/ New England USSSA Fastpitch is dedicated to meeting the needs of the coaches, fans and, most importantly, players that it serves. The organization strives to make USSSA Fastpitch the best tournament and league experience with a professional organization with unmatched customer service, the most qualified umpires, technological advancements to more fully enjoy the sport, a full array of softball merchandise, and the best fields available. David Rocha, the USSSA Fastpitch State Director for New England, is the Tournament Director.  Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked by the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $62,989,859 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating $4,272,596 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 17,331 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.(*Destinations International economic calculator FY 2018-19).   Tue, 23 Jul 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/USSSA-Championships-Return-to-Connecticut-in-New-Home-in-Windsor/1093/ Four National Competitions in Connecticut This Week http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/Four-National-Competitions-in-Connecticut-This-Week/1092/   This week, Connecticut is the site of four major competitive sports events including two March Madness tournaments. Over a four-day period, this compact New England state is hosting: the 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball First & Second Rounds; the 2019 NCAA DI Women’s Basketball First & Second Rounds; the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four DI Women’s Ice Hockey Championship; and the 42nd American Crossword Puzzle Tournament!   “Connecticut is thrilled to welcome these national sporting events taking place at the same time in four different regions of the state,” explains Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), who also manages the Bureau’s Sports Marketing initiatives. “The combined economic impact of these four events to Connecticut is projected to exceed $11.4 million as players, coaches, officials, families and fans stay in hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop, and enjoy attractions,” says Murdock. “A total of more than 2,700 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these four events, and over $783,000 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.”   2019 NCAA Men’s DI Basketball First & Second Rounds at the XL Center in Hartford this Thursday, March 21 and Saturday, March 23. The XL Center and the University of Connecticut will host the following teams: Villanova University, St. Mary's University, Purdue University, Old Dominion University, Marquette University, Murray State University, Florida State University, and University of Vermont. The first round of play will include four games on March 21 with the first game of Session 1 at 2 p.m.; and the first game of Session 2 at 7:20 p.m. The first-round winners will advance to the second round on March 23 with two games being played, start times TBA. On Wednesday, March 20, a free-admission Open Practice Day for all teams takes place from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the XL Center. Over 3,500 room nights have been booked in 12 Greater Hartford hotels by officials, athletes, cheerleaders and bands. Downtown organizations and restaurants are planning special promotions and events for the pleasure of an expected 25,000 visitors; they include a Party on Pratt Street block party on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that features a pop-up pub with local breweries & distilleries, live music, local vendors, and exhibits. Visitors are projected to spend over $7.8 million while here; over 1,800 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and close to $558,000 in Connecticut taxes will be generated. For Hartford March Madness information including tickets, parking, shuttles and Downtown, go to www.xlcenter.com/marchmadness.    2019 NCAA Women’s DI Basketball First & Second Rounds at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on the University of Connecticut Campus in Storrs this Friday, March 22 and Sunday, March 24. With Connecticut considered by many to be the Center of the Universe for Women’s College Basketball, the University of Connecticut campus is more than ready to host this competition. On March 22, the first game of the First Round starts at 4:30 p.m. with Rutgers University vs. University of Buffalo, followed at 7 p.m. by University of Connecticut vs. Towson University. The winning teams will advance to the second round on March 24 with the start time TBA. The teams and officials will use four area hotels. Visitors are projected to spend more than $1.585 million while here; over 340 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and more than $94,000 in Connecticut taxes will be generated. For tickets, go to:  https://ev9.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventInfo?ticketCode=GS%3AUCONN%3AWNCAA19%3AWNCAA1%3A&linkID=uconn&shopperContext=&pc=&caller=&appCode=&groupCode=&cgc=   2019 NCAA Women's DI Frozen Four Ice Hockey Championship at the People’s United Center on the Quinnipiac University campus in Hamden this Friday, March 22 and Sunday, March 24. The Semi-Finals will take place on March 22 with a 4 p.m. University of Minnesota vs. Cornell University game, followed at 7 p.m. with University of Wisconsin vs. Clarkson University. On Sunday, the Final Championship game begins at 2:30 p.m. The teams and officials will use five Greater New Haven hotels. Visitors are projected to spend nearly $1.2 million while here; over 265 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and more than $80,000 in Connecticut taxes will be generated. For more information, go to www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/sports/2018/10/26/frozen-four-homepage.aspx   42nd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford this Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24 at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa: More than 700 competitors from 40 states, Canada, and Europe are coming to Stamford to participate in this prestigious annual event (ACPT) founded and hosted by Puzzle Master and The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz. Approximately 1,000 crossword puzzle enthusiasts are expected to flock to Fairfield County, including entrants’ families and friends, resulting in a big economic bonus for the city. All guestrooms at the Marriott – the event’s headquarters hotel – have been sold out for weeks. With 2019 marking the 36th time the ACPT has been held in Stamford, Mayor David Martin is declaring Sunday, March 24 “Stamford Crossword Puzzle Day.” Visitors are projected to spend $825,000 while here; over 325 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and close to $51,000 in Connecticut taxes will be generated. For more information, go to www.crosswordtournament.com   Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked through the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $54,181,589 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating $3,653,731 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, 17,246 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information, contact www.CTmeetings.org or 860-728-6789.    (*Destinations International calculator)   -END- Wed, 20 Mar 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/Four-National-Competitions-in-Connecticut-This-Week/1092/ March 22-24: Stamford Welcomes 42nd American Crossword Puzzle Tournament to Marriott Downtown http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/March-22-24-Stamford-Welcomes-42nd-American-Crossword-Puzzle-Tournament-to-Marriott-Downtown/1091/ This week, approximately 1,000 crossword enthusiasts will flock to Stamford, Conn. to participate in the 42nd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) hosted by Puzzle Master and The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz, a former resident of Stamford. The event, to be held from Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24 at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, is expected to draw more than 700 competitors from 40 states, Canada, and Europe, resulting in a big economic bonus for the city. All guestrooms at the Marriott – the event’s headquarters hotel – have been sold out for weeks. With 2019 marking the 36th time the ACPT has been held in Stamford, Mayor David Martin is declaring Sunday, March 24 “Stamford Crossword Puzzle Day.”  “The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament means a lot to the City of Stamford,” said Tom Civitano, director of sales and marketing for the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, managed by Meyer Jabara Hotels. “It means widespread exposure for our city; not only are there hundreds of participants annually, but the tournament has been featured on ‘60 Minutes,’ ‘Nightline,’ ‘Today,’ and HBO’s ‘Real Sports’ with Bryant Gumbel. It also is an exceptional revenue-driver for businesses Downtown. A fun fact that most people don’t know is that this competition was the brainchild of Marriott Stamford Director of Sales Mike Dolan in 1977. To help increase business on a slow winter weekend, Dolan approached Will Shortz with the tournament idea. At the time, Mr. Shortz was editing crosswords for Penny Press puzzle magazines, and he jumped at the opportunity.”   The first American Crossword Puzzle Tournament was held at the Marriott Stamford in 1978, and there were 149 contestants. The event remained in Stamford for 27 years until it moved to Brooklyn in 2006 after the ACPT documentary “Wordplay” appeared in theaters around the country.   “As you can imagine, attendance in ACPT exploded in 2006…so much so, that the following year the tournament was moved to Brooklyn to accommodate the large group of puzzle solvers,” Civitano said. “Thankfully, Will Shortz brought it back to Stamford in 2015. The City and our hotel owe a lot to this Puzzle Master. Prize money for this year’s tournament is now more than $10,000. First prize is $5,000.”  “Stamford’s pen-and-paper crossword competition is a keystone event for our City, and we’re thrilled to continue hosting crossword enthusiasts in our great city,” Mayor David Martin said. “The Marriott is an ideal venue for this competition and its thoughtful planning and management have led to the growth and popularity of this competition in the Stamford community. I thank them — and the organizers of this event — for bringing crossword enthusiasts from around the world to Stamford for so many decades, and I hope they continue this event for many more.”“We are delighted to have people from all over the world come to participate in this tournament and experience the best that Stamford and State has to offer,” explained Thomas Madden, the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stamford. In his role of Chair of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization, Madden reports that the weekend event is projected to result in: more than $825,000 in revenue for the Stamford area as visitors stay in hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop, and enjoy nearby attractions; close to $51,000 in Connecticut Sales Tax; and support for over 325 hospitality industry jobs.*Shortz on Stamford A former Stamford resident, tournament founder Will Shortz says he is happy to hold the annual ACPT in Stamford, noting that the Marriott “feels like home” for the event. “This year, the Stamford Marriott sold out on guestrooms five weeks before the tournament,” Shortz said. “Having to direct contestants to other hotels nearby is a good problem to have. I’m eager to see everyone again – many puzzle solvers return year after year. It’s a reunion of some of the most quirky, flexible minds in the world. I’m honored the tournament has become such a huge success.”Marriott Rallying for Downtown Participation Civitano said he is encouraging Downtown businesses to join the Stamford Marriott in catching what he hopes to become “American Crossword Puzzle Tournament Fever” and hopes that neighboring companies will come up with some clever Crossword promotions. “What is most exciting about the ACPT is seeing people enjoying putting pen to paper and challenging their cognitive thinking, rather than burying themselves in digital media,” Civitano said. “It’s been said that doing crossword puzzles is good for a person’s mental and physical well-being. They can improve your mood, lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s, reduce stress and expand verbal skills. They’re also a great way to socialize, as puzzle solvers like myself often rally family members and friends to assist. These health and social benefits, combined with the financial boost that ACPT will bring to Stamford this month, are reasons enough for businesses to rally together and get Stamford residents excited about this event.To register for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, go to www.crosswordtournament.com/info/brochure.htm. Participants can also register at the door. For more information on the championship, contact Michael Smith at 215-266-2802 or via email at msmithacpt@gmail.com. More details can be found at www.crosswordtournament.com.    *Destinations International calculator FY 2017-18   Sun, 17 Mar 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/March-22-24-Stamford-Welcomes-42nd-American-Crossword-Puzzle-Tournament-to-Marriott-Downtown/1091/ HARTFORD GEARS UP FOR NCAA DI MEN’S BASKETBALL FIRST & SECOND ROUNDS http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/HARTFORD-GEARS-UP-FOR-NCAA-DI-MEN-S-BASKETBALL-FIRST-SECOND-ROUNDS/1090/ Connecticut’s Capital City is gearing up for the NCAA March Madness First and Second Round DI Men’s Basketball Championship to be held on Thursday, March 21 and Saturday, March 23, 2019 at the XL Center in Hartford.   Eight teams will extend their season into March here in Hartford. Four first-round games will take place on Thursday and two second-round games will be played Saturday. Two teams playing in Hartford will advance to the regional round the following weekend. Teams selected to play in the first and second rounds will be announced during Selection Sunday on March 17th. As the institutional host, if UConn qualifies for the post-season, the team would play at another championship venue.   On Wednesday, March 20th fans are invited to attend an all-day Open Practice Event hosted at the XL Center. Each of the eight teams will have a 30-minute practice time slot where fans can come and get a sneak peak of the tournament action. This is a free event and a great way for the local community to experience the NCAA Tournament first hand. The Open Practice will feature lunch and happy hour specials as well as interactive fan experiences that will provide a unique March Madness experience for fans of all ages.   Championship organizers expect a total of 25,000 attendees, with a preliminary projected economic impact to the Greater Hartford region of approximately $7.7 million as visitors stay in hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop, and enjoy attractions, according to the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) and Destinations International economic calculator. Over 3,500 room nights are expected to be booked in nine Greater Hartford hotels by officials, athletes, cheerleaders, bands, alumni groups, and fans. More than 1,775 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this tournament, and over $548,000 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.   “Having the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships back in Hartford is not only a win for the XL Center and the City of Hartford, but for the region as a whole,” says Michael Freimuth, CRDA executive director. “Hotels and restaurants from Windsor Locks to Farmington and Rocky Hill will welcome the eight teams and their fans from across the country. We look forward to the tournament’s return.”   UConn, The XL Center, and city entities are coordinating efforts to generate excitement and provide a memorable experience for all fans visiting throughout the weekend. Many downtown restaurants and bars will offer special discounts and tournament related promotions. Select Hartford Parking Authority and LAZ parking garages & surface lots will be offering a Special Event Parking rate of $10 from March 20th-March 23rd. The Dash Shuttle, CT Transit's free circulator bus in downtown Hartford, will operate with extended hours on Wednesday, March 20th and Saturday, March 23rd. Fans visiting from out of town can learn more about the City of Hartford and all it has to offer at the Hartford Business Improvement District’s information booth at the XL Center throughout all tournament sessions.     Organizations working with the XL Center, City of Hartford and University of Connecticut on this major citywide effort include the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), The MetroHartford Alliance, the Hartford Business Improvement District (BID), the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), Business for Downtown Hartford, CTTransit, the Hartford Parking Authority, LAZ Parking, and Downtown restaurants, attractions, hotels, and businesses. Limited all-session packages are still available. For more information or tournament events or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.xlcenter.com/ncaamarchmadnesshartford or call 1-877-522-8499.   Wed, 13 Feb 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/HARTFORD-GEARS-UP-FOR-NCAA-DI-MEN-S-BASKETBALL-FIRST-SECOND-ROUNDS/1090/ FIRST TO THE FINISH WINTERFEST VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT EXPECTS OVER 18,000 VISITORS IN HARTFORD http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/FIRST-TO-THE-FINISH-WINTERFEST-VOLLEYBALL-TOURNAMENT-EXPECTS-OVER-18-000-VISITORS-IN-HARTFORD/1089/ Close to 5,000 youth volleyball players on 456 teams from across the Northeast are coming to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. this month to compete in the “2019 First to the Finish New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament” (formerly the Mizuno New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament). A total of more than 18,000 visitors are expected over two weekends, including the young athletes and thousands of family members, friends, tournament officials, college players, fans and spectators.   During the tournament’s first weekend this Saturday, January 12 and Sunday, January 13, organizers will welcome over 2,300 athletes (224 teams of 10 to 12 players), ages 12-18, in six age group divisions for girls and four age divisions for boys.   At the larger of the two competitions on the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Saturday, January 19 through Monday, January 21, over 2,600 athletes (232 teams of female players), ages 16-18, will compete.   “Volleyball is an exciting spectator sport where families get involved and come to cheer on their kids,” explains Tournament Chair Alex Temkin of the New England Region Volleyball Association, Inc. (NERVA). “Since the Northeast has one of the largest concentrations of Collegiate Division II and Division III schools in the nation, with lots of Division I schools here as well, we expect many college recruiting coordinators to come and scout as many athletes as possible.” Players will play on 27 courts in the Exhibition Hall of the Connecticut Convention Center, with 12 matches per court every day each lasting no more than one hour.   “This growing tournament kicks the year off with a great economic boost for the Greater Hartford region,” explains Robert Murdock, the new President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “The popular event is expected to generate $5.8 million in revenue over its two weekends as visitors stay in hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop, and enjoy attractions.” Murdock reports an estimated 1,943 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and $401,476 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.   “The New England Winterfest tournament originally was designed to showcase young female volleyball players to college coaches and recruiters from throughout the Northeast,” adds Temkin. “Since its establishment in 2010 at the Connecticut Convention Center, it has almost tripled in size and now includes boys’ play on the first of the two weekends. The city of Hartford and its surrounding towns really make our Winterfest players and fans feel welcome,” adds Temkin. “Restaurants extend their hours and customize the menus, the Downtown dash shuttle bus adds hours of operation, and everyone is terrific about accommodating our group. We are committed to hold the event here through at least 2023!”   “For the ninth straight year, we welcome Winterfest to the Connecticut Convention Center,” says Michael Costelli, General Manager of the Connecticut Convention Center. “Winterfest brings an incredible energy to the city of Hartford, and we greatly enjoy the experience of hosting the thousands of athletes, coaches, and spectators for two consecutive weekends.”  Weekend #1 Schedule:  Saturday, Jan. 12: 7:45 a.m. Opening Serve and National AnthemSaturday, Jan. 12: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tournament PlaySunday, Jan. 13: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tournament Play & Championships   Weekend #2 Martin Luther King. Jr. Weekend Schedule: Friday, Jan. 18: College Showcase at Connecticut Convention Center, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – 200 athletes will participate in practice drills and scrimmage. More than 80 college coaches are expected on-site to watch and evaluate the players’ skills on an individual basis. As part of that event, at 7:15 p.m. next door at the Marriott Hartford Downtown, parents of volleyball players will attend a Recruiting Seminar where a panel of Division II and III college coaches will tell them what they need to know about college recruitment including calendars, NCAA terms and related topics. Free program is open to all parents of volleyball players – whether or not their child is in the tournament. No reservations needed.Saturday, Jan. 19: 7:45 a.m. Opening Serve and National AnthemSaturday, Jan. 19 AND Sunday, Jan. 20: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tournament PlayMonday, Jan. 21: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tournament Championships   SPECTATOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND COSTS:  Spectators can buy admission wristbands in advance at https://jvctournaments.com/FTTFNewEnglandWinterfest or at the tournament door each day, starting at 7 a.m.   1st Weekend Tournament: Saturday, Jan. 12 & Sunday, Jan. 13: Discounted Advance Purchase Admission: $17 All-Tournament wristband purchased on line through Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m.; $12 Single Day wristband purchased on line through Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m.. Standard Admission: $20 All-Tournament wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m. $15 Single Day wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m.   **Children ages 10 and under admitted for free **Lost, forgotten or stolen wristbands will need to be re-purchased. 2nd Weekend Tournament: Saturday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 21: Discounted Advance Purchase Admission – ONLY available until 11 p.m. EST Friday, Jan. 18: $26 All-Tournament wristband purchased on line from Monday, Jan. 14 to Friday, Jan 18 at 11 p.m.; $12 Single Day wristband purchased on line from Monday, Jan. 14 to Friday, Jan 18 at 11 p.m.; Standard Admission: $30 All-Tournament wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 18 at 11 p.m. $15 Single Day wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 18 at 11 p.m.   **Children ages 10 and under admitted for free **Lost, forgotten or stolen wristbands will need to be re-purchased.    About the New England Region Volleyball Association (NERVA): The New England Region is one of many Regions in the United States that aid in the governing of the sport of volleyball. Regional Volleyball Associations (RVAs) are member organizations of USA Volleyball (USAV). The RVAs serve as the grassroots function for the USAV and individually and collectively serve as a catalyst for USAV functions. Each Region is independently operated and is led by a Regional Commission. For more information about the First to the Finish New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament, visit https://jvctournaments.com/FTTFNewEnglandWinterfest Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked through the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $54,181,589 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating 3,653,731 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, 17,246 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information, contact www.CTmeetings.org or 860-728-6789. (*Destinations International calculator FY 2017-18).   The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is the state’s premier meeting venue and the largest full-service convention facility between New York and Boston. Overlooking the beautiful Connecticut River, it features 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as ample sheltered parking. The venue is professionally managed for the State of Connecticut by Waterford Venue Services, an affiliate of Waterford Hotel Group. For more information, visit CTConventions.com or call 860-249-6000. Fri, 11 Jan 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/FIRST-TO-THE-FINISH-WINTERFEST-VOLLEYBALL-TOURNAMENT-EXPECTS-OVER-18-000-VISITORS-IN-HARTFORD/1089/ ROBERT MURDOCK IS CTCSB'S NEW PRESIDENT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/ROBERT-MURDOCK-IS-CTCSB-S-NEW-PRESIDENT/1088/ This week, Robert Murdock started work as the President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) in Middletown, Conn., the State’s official meetings, and sports event sales and marketing organization. On January 1st, Murdock stepped into his new job upon the retirement of longtime industry leader H. Scott Phelps, who had steered the CTCSB since 2014. In his new job, Murdock will continue to manage the Bureau’s sports marketing and serve as its Director of National Accounts for S.M.E.R.F. (Social, Military, Education, Religious, Fraternal) and Affinity Groups.   On January 1st, Murdock also began his newly elected position as the President of the Board of the New England Society of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (NESCVB). The NESCVB is a cooperative organization comprised of CVBs throughout New England that collectively markets the region as a premier destination for meetings, conventions and sports events, and offers complimentary services to planners.   “I am excited that the CTCSB Board has selected Bob as its new President,” explains Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau Chair Thomas Madden, who also is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stamford. “He has the knowledge and experience for this position and will do a great job moving the organization forward. Bob will continue to build essential partnerships and new business as he did with his terrific predecessor, Scott Phelps, and will coordinate the management of the organization’s new strategic plan.”   In addition, Murdock serves as a Board Member for the Fairfield County Sports Commission and is a longtime member of the National Association of Sports Commissions’ (NASC) Mentoring Committee.   Murdock joined the Connecticut CTCSB in September 2014 as Director of Sports Marketing and later expanded his responsibilities to include marketing for the SMERF and Affinity Groups. Previously, he spent seven years as Director of Sales at Destination Worcester (Mass.), responsible for promoting and selling the City and Central Massachusetts region as a destination for meetings and events. Before that, he was Director of Administration for the Massachusetts Sports Partnership, and was Event & Sales Manager/Director of Business Operations for a variety of Boston-area organizations including professional athletes’ foundations, promotional tours and the World Curling Championship that was held in Lowell, Mass.   The Clinton, Conn. resident received both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University (Penn.), and holds a master’s degree, majoring in Sports Management, from Springfield College (Mass.). Two Fun facts: Murdock was one of only 108 Americans invited to try out for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team in 1988 and has a marathon personal best of 2:17:45; and as a Greenwich High School senior, he was the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) 1978 State Champion in the Indoor Track Two-Mile competition.   To contact Robert Murdock, email robertm@ctcsb.org or call 860-882-1103.    Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The public-private partnership is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked by the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $54,181,589 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating 3,653,731 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, 17,246 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.           (*Destinations International’s economic calculator FY 2017-18). Fri, 04 Jan 2019 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/ROBERT-MURDOCK-IS-CTCSB-S-NEW-PRESIDENT/1088/ MPI’S CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY CHAPTER HONORED FOR EXCELLENCE http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/MPI-S-CONNECTICUT-RIVER-VALLEY-CHAPTER-HONORED-FOR-EXCELLENCE/88/ Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has awarded its Connecticut River Valley chapter (MPI CRV) with a 2018 Chapter Merit Award for Overall Excellence - one of only four chapters in entire the U.S. and Canada to receive this recognition!MPI is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. With more than 90 MPI chapters and clubs in 19 countries, this truly is a prestigious honor for MPI professionals in our Connecticut and Massachusetts regional chapter. The global MPI Chapter Recognition Program is designed to acknowledge superior chapter performance based on objectively measured results for consistent delivery of quality services to members. The award was presented to our leadership during this month's Chapter event, The Meeting Professional's Duty of Care, held at MGM Springfield in Springfield, Mass."I can personally attest to the high quality of achievement of the MPI CRV chapter, having participated in its events for past year and a half, as well as with other Connecticut and NY chapters," explains Susan Koczka, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau's Director of National Accounts - Associations/Corporate. "Based upon the quality of MPI CRVs education, engaging networking events, and warm welcome from its leadership, as well as their refreshing enthusiasm for the industry, I decided to rejoin MPI with my primary chapter being the CRV, and encourage other industry professions to take advantage of its resources."Established in 1982, MPI's Connecticut River Valley empowers its 100+ members to increase their strategic value with top-notch education, professional development and business growth opportunities. For more information about the chapter, visit www.mpiweb.org/crv.Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including more than 17,000 engaged members and its Plan Your Meetings audience. It has more than 90 chapters and clubs in 19 countries. "When we meet, we change the world." www.mpi.org Pictured at the presentation of 2018 Chapter Merit Award at MPI CRV's November event at MGM Springfield (left to right):   •  CT Convention & Sports Bureau's Director of National Accounts-Associations/Corporate Susan Koczka,;   •  MPI CRV Chapter Past President Annamarie T. Grise, CMP, and   •  MPI CRV Chapter President Amanda Guerard, MBA, CMP. Mon, 19 Nov 2018 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/MPI-S-CONNECTICUT-RIVER-VALLEY-CHAPTER-HONORED-FOR-EXCELLENCE/88/ STATE RESIDENTS HONORED WITH CTCSB AWARDS http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/STATE-RESIDENTS-HONORED-WITH-CTCSB-AWARDS/87/ The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) honored seven state residents for their work in helping to bring and produce meetings and events to Connecticut that have a profound impact on the State's economy. The "CTCSB Hospitality Industry Night and Bring It Home Awards sponsored by Eversource" was held at the Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel on October 23rd.  The CTCSB's 2018 Bring It Home Awards were presented to:•  John Heine of Northford, Conn., for bringing the Association of College &University Printers' (ACUP) Annual Conference to Omni Hotel & Yale University in New Haven in April 2019;•  Susan Keane of East Hartford and Beverley Henry of East Hartford, for coordinating the Council of State Governments' Eastern Regional Conference Annual Meeting at Mohegan Sun in August 2017;•  Rich and Liz Parenzan of Trumbull, for coordinating the USA BMX East Coast Nationals to the T.R.A.C.K. BMX in Trumbull in June 2018; and•  David Rocha of Simsbury, for bringing the USSSA (U.S. Specialty Sports Association) 2018 Northeast National Championship to East Hartford and Southington in July 2018.The CTCSB's 2018 Thomas J. Shortell Award, recognizing Connecticut residents who have had a long-term successful sports career, was presented to Suzy Whaley of Cromwell, a PGA Master Professional and the Vice President of the PGA. Ms. Whaley also is being honored for bringing the PGA of America Annual Meeting to the Connecticut Convention Center in October 2020."Our organization's 4th annual Hospitality Industry Night celebrated the positive impact of tourism and conventions, conferences, meetings and sports events on Connecticut - from job creation to local, regional and State revenue," explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, the State's official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. "We presented our 2018 awards to a group of dynamic Connecticut residents who have stepped up to help showcase our state, bringing visitors here and growing the economy." The event featured refreshments and networking, a TAPSNAP 1188TM social media photo booth, and raffle and auction prizes that represent the state's hospitality industry. Roger Wierbicki, Secretary of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau was the Event Chair, and Fox 61 meteorologist Matt Scott was the Emcee.Major sponsors included Eversource, Bank of America, the Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel, and TAPSNAP 1188TTM.   Working in partnership with the state's businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state - convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues - as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked through the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $54,181,589 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating over $3,653,731 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 17,246 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.ctmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. (*Destinations International's economic calculator FY 2017-18). Thu, 01 Nov 2018 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/STATE-RESIDENTS-HONORED-WITH-CTCSB-AWARDS/87/ CTCSB PRESIDENT H. SCOTT PHELPS TO RETIRE AT END OF 2018 http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-PRESIDENT-H-SCOTT-PHELPS-TO-RETIRE-AT-END-OF-2018/86/ H. Scott Phelps, the President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) and a leader in the state’s convention industry for the past four decades, has announced that he will retire on December 31, 2018. During his long career, Phelps has managed everything from membership to community relations to sales operations to top executive responsibilities. The CTCSB will conduct a national search for a new president, reports Thomas Madden, Chair of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, the State’s official meetings, and sports event sales and marketing organization. Effective January 1, 2019, the organization’s Interim President will be Robert Murdock, the CTCSB’s current Director of Sports Marketing and its Director of National Accounts for S.M.E.R.F. (Social, Military, Education, Religious, Fraternal) and Affinity Groups. Murdock also will be the 2019 President of the New England Society of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (NESCVB).“Scott Phelps has been an active proponent of Connecticut’s convention and hospitality industries for more than 40 years, building close partnerships and relationships with local businesses, communities and organizations while marketing the appeal of our state to meeting planners and sports promoters nationwide,” explains Thomas Madden, who also is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stamford. “He tried to retire once before almost a decade ago, and we were fortunate to bring him back a few years later to help us grow the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. This time, we will say ‘Goodbye’ again and wish him a wonderful, long retirement.” “I am going to miss the many friendships and professional relationships that I have cultivated over my career but am confident that the experienced staff at the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau will continue to move the state forward as a tremendous destination for meetings, conventions and major sports events,” Phelps states. “The economic impact of this industry on our state’s economy is enormous. Events booked through the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau during the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in more than $54 million in spending by attendees during their visits here, will generate over $3,650,000 in Connecticut taxes, and support more than 17,000 Connecticut hospitality industry jobs.* In fact, for every dollar that Connecticut invests in the CTCSB, more than $8 is returned to the State in taxes alone.” Phelps worked at the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) for more than 30 years, joining that organization in 1977 as the Director of Membership and Community Affairs and becoming its President in 1992. Under his leadership, the GHCVB became one of the most successful tourism-related public/private partnerships in the U.S. and received numerous industry awards and accolades. He retired from the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2010 and, two years later, the State established the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, expanding the reach and responsibilities of the former GHCVB. In 2014, Phelps came out of retirement and returned to the convention industry to head up the statewide CTCSB when then-President Michael Van Parys retired from that post. Phelps has served on a variety of industry boards and currently is a member of the University of New Haven’s Hospitality & Tourism Management Department's Advisory Board and the Connecticut Lodging Association’s Board of Directors. Over the years, he received many awards for his work, including the American Marketing Association’s “Marketer of the Year Award” and a “Governor’s Tourism Award for Excellence in Travel Promotion”, and the Central Regional Tourism District’s “Tourism Leadership Award.”          Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-PRESIDENT-H-SCOTT-PHELPS-TO-RETIRE-AT-END-OF-2018/86/ CONNECTICUT CONVENTION & SPORTS BUREAU ANNOUNCES 2018 “BRING IT HOME” & SHORTELL AWARD RECIPIENTS http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CONNECTICUT-CONVENTION-SPORTS-BUREAU-ANNOUNCES-2018-BRING-IT-HOME-SHORTELL-AWARD-RECIPIENTS/85/   The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) will honor seven state residents on Tuesday, October 23 for their work in helping to bring and produce meetings and events to Connecticut that have a profound impact on the State's economy. The “CTCSB Hospitality Industry Night and Bring It Home Awards sponsored by Eversource” will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel at 201 Washington Ave. in North Haven, Conn. Tickets are available now.   The CTCSB’s 2018 Bring It Home Awardees are:John Heine of Northford, Conn., for bringing the Association of College & University Printers' (ACUP) Annual Conference to the Omni New Haven Hotel and Yale University in New Haven in April 2019;Susan Keane of East Hartford and Beverley Henry of East Hartford, for coordinating the Council of State Governments' Eastern Regional Conference Annual Meeting at Mohegan Sun in August 2017;Rich and Liz Parenzan of Trumbull, for coordinating the USA BMX East Coast Nationals to the T.R.A.C.K. BMX in Trumbull in June 2018; andDavid Rocha of Simsbury, for bringing the USSSA (U.S. Specialty Sports Association) 2018 Northeast National Championship to East Hartford and Southington in July 2018.   The CTCSB’s 2018 Thomas J. Shortell Award, recognizing Connecticut residents who have had a long-term successful sports career, will be presented to: Suzy Whaley of Cromwell, a PGA Master Professional and the Vice President of the PGA. Ms. Whaley also is being honored for bringing the PGA of America Annual Meeting to the Connecticut Convention Center in October 2020.    “Our organization’s 4th annual Hospitality Industry Night celebrates the positive impact of tourism and conventions, conferences, meetings and sports events on Connecticut – from job creation to local, regional and State revenue,” explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “We look forward to presenting our 2018 Bring It Home Awards to this group of dynamic Connecticut residents who have stepped up to help showcase our state, bringing visitors here and growing the economy.”    The event will feature refreshments and networking, a social media photo booth and other fun activities, and raffle and auction prizes that represent the state’s hospitality industry. Fox 61 meteorologist Matt Scott will be the awards ceremony emcee.   To purchase tickets, go to www.eventbrite.com OR contact CTCSB’s Director of Business Development Susan Henrique at 860-882-1101 or SusanH@ctcsb.org .    Event tickets: CTCSB Members:                    $35 pp Non-Members:                          $40 pp Four-pack: Buy 4 together        $25 pp = $100   Major sponsors to date include Eversource, Bank of America, the Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel, and TAPSNAP 1188™. Sponsorship packages range from $200 to $2,500. For information about sponsorships, call Event Chair Roger Wierbicki at 860-929-9850 or the CTCSB’s Laura Soll at 860-688-4499.   Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked by the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $54,181,589 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating over $3,121,389 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 17,246 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.ctmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. (*Destinations International’s economic calculator FY 2017-18). Fri, 28 Sep 2018 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CONNECTICUT-CONVENTION-SPORTS-BUREAU-ANNOUNCES-2018-BRING-IT-HOME-SHORTELL-AWARD-RECIPIENTS/85/ CONNECTICUT WELCOMES NATIONAL ASSN. OF THE DEAF'S CONFERENCE http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CONNECTICUT-WELCOMES-NATIONAL-ASSN-OF-THE-DEAF-S-CONFERENCE/84/ The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) and Connecticut Convention Center welcome the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)’s “54th Biennial Conference” to Hartford. The NAD, known as the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, will partner with three other organizations: The National Deaf Education Conference (NDEC); Deaf in Government (DIG); and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). Almost 2,000 people are expected to attend the conference between today/Tuesday, July 3 and Sunday, July 8 in the Connecticut Convention Center. Attendees will attend seminars on a variety of topics, and there will be social activities for individuals and families. During the conference, many will visit the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford. The nationally renowned leader in educational programs and services for deaf and hard of hearing students celebrated its 200th anniversary last year. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in over 100 workshops and tour sites around Hartford that have ties to deaf history. The CTCSB reports that the NAD Conference is expected to generate more than $1.7 million in revenue for the Greater Hartford region over the coming week as visitors stay in hotels, dine in restaurants, shop, and enjoy attractions. They will utilize close to 2,200 room nights at the Marriott Downtown Hartford and the Hilton Hartford hotels. An estimated 276 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and over $110,000 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.In preparation for providing top-quality service to this week’s attendees, many of whom are deaf or hard of hearing, the Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau (CTCSB) and the Connecticut Convention Center hosted sessions for front line hospitality industry workers, so they can understand and communicate most effectively with their guests. Interpreters from Source Interpreting, a division of the American School for the Deaf, provided training for Downtown Hartford restaurants and attractions who are members of the Hartford Hospitality Task Force. The Waterford Group held similar sessions for its Marriott Downtown and Hilton Hartford staff that were led by deaffriendly.com, which works with deaf-friendly businesses and establishments.   The Connecticut Convention Center and Marriott Hartford Downtown are located right across the street from the restaurants in the Front Street Entertainment District and are just blocks away from many others in the city. The Downtown dash shuttle bus has added hours of operation to accommodate attendees.The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The NAD also carries out its federal advocacy work through coalition efforts with specialized national deaf and hard of hearing organizations, as well as coalitions representing national cross-disability organizations. On the international front, the NAD represents the United States of America to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an international human rights organization. Individual and organizational membership makes it possible for the NAD to ensure that the collective interests of the American deaf and hard of hearing community are seen and represented among our nation’s policy makers and opinion leaders at the federal level. The NAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by the generosity of individual and organizational donors, including corporations and foundations. Visit www.NAD.org. Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. Events booked by the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $54,181,589 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating over $3,121,389 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 17,246 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For information, contact www.CTMeetings.org or 860-728-6789. (*Destinations International economic calculator FY 2017-18).The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is the state’s premier meeting venue and the largest full-service convention facility between New York and Boston. Overlooking the beautiful Connecticut River, it features 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as ample sheltered parking. The venue is professionally managed for the State of Connecticut by Waterford Venue Services, an affiliate of Waterford Hotel Group. For more information, visit CTConventions.com or call 860-249-6000.  Tue, 03 Jul 2018 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CONNECTICUT-WELCOMES-NATIONAL-ASSN-OF-THE-DEAF-S-CONFERENCE/84/ CTCSB ELECTS NEW VICE CHAIR, ASSISTANT TREASURER & ADDS 2 BOARD MEMBERS http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-ELECTS-NEW-VICE-CHAIR-ASSISTANT-TREASURER-ADDS-2-BOARD-MEMBERS/82/ The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) has elected: John A. O’Toole as its new Vice Chair; Thomas Madden, AICP, as Assistant Treasurer of its Board of Directors; and added Jeff L. Hubbard and Brian Summers as the Bureau’s newest Board members, effective on July 1, 2017. All four were elected at the CTCSB’s Annual Meeting, held June 1 at the Courtyard by Marriott Hartford-Cromwell.   “John O’Toole, Thomas Madden, Jeff Hubbard and Brian Summers each bring a unique perspective to our statewide Board of Directors, through expertise and experiences in their respective professions,” explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “They advocate the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau’s focused work to generate new dollars for Connecticut through meetings, conventions and sports events that result in economic activity, jobs and tax revenues for our State and local economies. We look forward to their insight and guidance as we move forward in strengthening our organization’s many partnerships.”   John A. O’Toole is Community Relations and Economic Development Lead for Eversource. He is responsible for supporting the companies’ efforts in the community, economic policy, business and community development in Connecticut, and serves as the company’s chief liaison to key state and regional economic development organizations. A longtime supporter of the importance of the conventions and major events to the State’s economy, he has been a CTCSB Board member ever since the organization was established in 2012, and serves as its Assistant Treasurer until July 1 when he becomes the Vice Chair. Prior to that, he served as an Advisory Board member of the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau which expanded in 2012 to cover the entire state as the CTCSB. O’Toole lives in Marlborough, Conn.   Thomas Madden, AICP, is Director of Economic Development for the City of Stamford, Conn. and the Executive Director for Stamford’s Urban Redevelopment Commission. During his career, Madden has been instrumental in the development of new economic and environment standards for the communities he has served, including administrative procedures and policies to retain, restore and expand the commercial and industrial tax base, adoption of Green Building code for new site development, revisions to the Energy Star code, Energy Improvement Financing for commercial properties, and oversight of the approval and development of numerous large-scale developments. Madden is an advocate for promoting Connecticut’s assets to help to bring new meetings and sports events business to Connecticut. Prior to coming to Stamford in 2014, he was the Commissioner of the Department of Community Development and Conservation for the Town of Greenburgh, NY. Madden is a resident of Stratford, Conn.   Jeff L. Hubbard is President and Commercial Sales Leader for KeyBank’s Connecticut and Western Massachusetts market, and is the President of the Key Serving Company. Prior to the acquisition of First Niagara Bank by KeyBank in 2016, Hubbard served as First Niagara’s New England Regional President. He joined that company in 2015 from TD Bank, N.A., where he served for six years, most recently as Regional Vice President, Commercial Banking in the Hartford region, and was responsible for leading the bank’s commercial, middle market and small business lending activities statewide. Prior to TD Bank, Hubbard was Senior Risk Officer for Bank of America and was Senior Vice President and Manager for Webster Bank, with responsibilities in Conn., Mass., NY and RI. Earlier in his career, he served in senior management positions with Fleet Bank and Merrill Lynch. Hubbard is a Guilford, Conn. resident.   Brian Summers is General Manager of the newly renovated Heritage Hotel & Conference Center in Southbury, Conn. He has spent more than 30 years in management roles in the hotel and hospitality industry, working in and managing properties across the U.S., from Hawaii to Connecticut. He began his career in Food & Beverage, and soon was fast-tracked to open Hyatt hotels in Arizona and Hawaii, as well as lead management roles in properties in California and Arizona. Summers was the General Manager of Crowne Plaza Hotels in Cromwell and Southbury, Conn., and in Cherry Hill, NJ, before moving to Chesapeake Hospitality where he was Area Director of Operations for hotels from Tennessee to Florida. He recently returned to Connecticut to run the Heritage Hotel & Conference Center for The Marshall Hotel Group. Summers lives in Downtown Hartford.   The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) is a public-private partnership that is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the CTCSB markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and sports events. In fiscal year, 2015-2016, CTCSB business resulted in more than $61.6 million spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating more than $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. Over 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. The CTCSB’s annual “Bring It Home Awards” recognize state residents for their contributions in helping to secure these kinds of revenue-generating booking. For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.   *DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016 Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-ELECTS-NEW-VICE-CHAIR-ASSISTANT-TREASURER-ADDS-2-BOARD-MEMBERS/82/ UCONN'S EVAN FEINGLASS ELECTED TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF CTCSB http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/UCONN-S-EVAN-FEINGLASS-ELECTED-TO-BOARD-OF-DIRECTORS-OF-CTCSB/81/ Evan Feinglass, the University of Connecticut’s Associate Director of Athletics/Facilities Management & Planning, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB). “Evan has worked with our sports sales staff for many years as a member of the Connecticut Sports Advisory Board,” explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State of Connecticut’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “He knows the importance of showcasing our state to attract international, national and regional sporting events of all sizes. This results in increased local and state revenue and support jobs for Connecticut residents. Our Director of Sports Marketing Robert Murdock and entire Board look forward to expanding his involvement with our organization as we work to bring new and returning events to our state.” Feinglass joined UConn’s Division of Athletics in 2007 and is responsible for the operation, maintenance and planning for the athletic facilities on the Storrs, Conn. campus. He has oversight responsibilities for the facilities, event management, and athletics grounds operations, as well as concessions. In addition, he serves as program administrator for men’s ice hockey and women’s volleyball.He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. and his Master's degree in Sport Management from the University of Connecticut. He lives in Sprague, Conn. with his wife, Megan, and two children.The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) is a public-private partnership that is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the CTCSB markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, CTCSB business resulted in more than $61.6 million spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating more than $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. Over 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. *DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/UCONN-S-EVAN-FEINGLASS-ELECTED-TO-BOARD-OF-DIRECTORS-OF-CTCSB/81/ NCAA SELECTS CONNECTICUT FOR 7 CHAMPIONSHIPS http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/NCAA-SELECTS-CONNECTICUT-FOR-7-CHAMPIONSHIPS/80/  Great news for Connecticut! The NCAA today announced that the state has been selected as the site for seven (7) upcoming sports championships, including basketball, lacrosse, golf and ice hockey.  “This is tremendous news for Connecticut and the many venues and host organizations that worked so hard to make this possible,” says H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “These major collegiate events will generate millions of dollars in revenue for our state as the teams, officials, alumni, families and fans will travel here from across the country and stay in our hotels, dine at restaurants, shop in retail establishments and enjoy our attractions. In addition, local residents will have the opportunity to enjoy first-class sports competitions right nearby."  “Our office looks forward to working with the host sponsors, competing universities, and local businesses and communities as they gear up for these terrific events,” adds Robert Murdock, Director of Sports Marketing for the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB). "This is a great opportunity to showcase Connecticut as a vibrant sports destination, and gives us momentum to attract a wide variety of other tournaments and competition.”  The following NCAA championships set for Connecticut are:March 23-25, 2018: NCAA DI Men's Ice Hockey Regional at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, hosted by Fairfield University and Yale University;March 21 & 23, 2019: NCAA DI Men’s Basketball First/Second at the XL Center in Hartford, hosted by the University of Connecticut;March 22-24, 2019: NCAA Women’s Frozen Four Ice Hockey Championships at Quinnipiac University’s TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, hosted by Quinnipiac University;May 18-19, 2019: NCAA DI Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinal at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, hosted by Fairfield University;May 29-31, 2021: NCAA DI, DII, DIII Men’s Lacrosse Championships at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, hosted by Fairfield University;May 15-18, 2022: NCAA DI Men’s Golf Regional at The Course at Yale University in New Haven; hosted by Yale University; andMay 28-30, 2022: NCAA DI, DII, DIII Men’s Lacrosse Championships at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, hosted by Fairfield University.  Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, CTCSB business resulted in more than $61.6 million spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating more than $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. Over 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* The CTCSB is a public-private partnership that is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information, visit CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.  (*DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016)  Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/NCAA-SELECTS-CONNECTICUT-FOR-7-CHAMPIONSHIPS/80/ HARTFORD WELCOMES FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/HARTFORD-WELCOMES-FRONTIER-COMMUNICATIONS-AMERICAN-ATHLETIC-CONFERENCE-MEN-S-BASKETBALL-CHAMPIONSHIP/79/ Connecticut’s Capital City welcomes this week’s 2017 Frontier Communications American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship. The XL Center, City of Hartford, Hartford Business Improvement District (BID), Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), Hartford Parking Authority, Capital Region Development Authority, CTTransit, Conn. Department of Transportation, and other organizations are working to make sure that visitors have a terrific experience while in the city.   The Frontier Communications American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship will take place this Thursday, March 9 through Sunday, March 12, 2017 at the XL Center in Downtown Hartford. All 11 American Athletic Conference teams will compete for the conference title, including the 2014 NCAA champion, the University of Connecticut.   Over the four-day basketball competition, Championship organizers expect 50,000 attendees, with a projected economic impact to the Greater Hartford region of approximately $4 million, according to the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. Approximately 3,000 room nights are expected to be booked in over a half-dozen Greater Hartford hotels by officials, athletes, cheerleaders, bands, alumni groups, and fans. More than 1,000 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this tournament, and over $300,000 in Connecticut Sales Tax generated.   Saturday, March 11 will be an especially busy day in Downtown Hartford. Fans attending Saturday’s Semifinals basketball games also can enjoy the 46th Annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade which steps off at 11 a.m. on Capitol Avenue near the Connecticut State Capitol Building – the annual parade is expected to draw tens of thousands of people. In addition, the Spirit Festival National Competition will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center on both Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. One of the largest cheer & dance national championships in the Northeast, the two-day event will involve approximately 7,000 athletes, their families, and officials who will utilize 2,400 room nights at close to a dozen area hotels with an economic impact of $3.3 million, according to the Connecticut Convention Center.   The XL Center Exhibition Hall will host a Fan Fest during tournament hours and the event is open to the public. Activities include basketball contests, food, drink specials, a fan cave, beer garden and much more. For a full list of activities visit www.XLCenter.com/americanhoops  More than 20 Downtown restaurants will offer a 10 percent discount off food to anyone who presents a ticket stub or official team credential. For a full list of participating restaurants, visit www.XLCenter.com/americanhoops   Throughout the course of the 4 day Tournament, many Downtown garages and surface lots near the XL Center will offer a Special Event Parking rate of $6. For a full list of parking locations visit www.XLCenter.com/americanhoops dash Shuttle buses will extend hours (operated by CTTransit): on Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; on Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 midnight; on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and then from 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; and on Sunday 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Also on Saturday, local and express bus service serving Downtown will be rerouted during parade road closures.   CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:             Thursday, March 9- First Round- Session 1: Game 1:  3:30 p.m. - #8 Temple vs. #9 East Carolina (ESPNU)Game 2:  6 p.m. - #7 Tulsa vs. #10 Tulane (ESPNews)Game 3:  8 p.m. - #6 UConn vs. #11 UCF (ESPNews)           Friday, March 10- Quarterfinals - Session 3Game 4:  12 Noon - #1  SMU vs. Winner Game 1 (ESPN2)Game 5:  2 p.m. - #4 UCF vs. #5 Memphis (ESPN2)Game 6:  7 p.m. - #2 Cincinnati vs. Winner of Game 2 (ESPNU)Game 7:  9 p.m. - #3 Houston vs. Winner of Game 3 (ESPNU) Saturday, March 11- SemifinalsGame 8:  3 p.m. - Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 (ESPN2)Game 9:  5 p.m. - Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 7 (ESPN2) Sunday, March 12- Championship GameGame 10:  3:15 p.m. - Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 9 (ESPN) TICKETS:  All-session and individual tickets are available now at www.XLCenter.com, by calling 1-877-522-8499, or visiting the Agera Energy Box Office at the XL Center.Group sales (10 or more) information and discounts are available by contacting 860-548-2000. For general fan information about the Championship, visit www.XLCenter.com/AmericanHoops. Tue, 07 Mar 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/HARTFORD-WELCOMES-FRONTIER-COMMUNICATIONS-AMERICAN-ATHLETIC-CONFERENCE-MEN-S-BASKETBALL-CHAMPIONSHIP/79/ SUSAN KOCZKA, CMP, JOINS THE CTCSB AS A DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/SUSAN-KOCZKA-CMP-JOINS-THE-CTCSB-AS-A-DIRECTOR-OF-NATIONAL-ACCOUNTS/78/ SUSAN KOCZKA JOINS THE CONNECTICUT CONVENTION & SPORTS BUREAU AS A DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS   The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) has named Susan Koczka, CMP, as a Director of National Accounts. Koczka, who has close to three decades of experience in the conventions, meetings and hospitality industries, began her new job on February 14.   “Sue Koczka is an experienced conventions, meetings and hospitality sales executive who is extremely knowledgeable about Connecticut’s assets, has longtime relationships with industry professionals across our state, and will hit the ground running in her new role,” explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “She brings a unique perspective to this job, as her career has included convention bureau sales initiatives, new business sales and marketing for an array of hotel properties in the Northeast, and she managed the many aspects of meeting planning for a variety of associations.”   “In addition, Sue was a National Sales Manager at the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) for eight years, before the State expanded our reach to cover all of Connecticut,” adds Phelps, who also was employed at the GHCVB. “So she works well with several members of our staff and with our Board.”   A Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Koczka comes to the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau from Association Resources, Inc. in West Hartford, Conn., an association management firm that provides a wide range of management resources and services to professional associations. She most recently was the Director of Corporate Relations & Meetings for the company’s largest client, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), and previously was the firm’s Director of Meetings, serving many of the other clients.   Koczka was a National Sales Manager for the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau from 2003 to 2010. Her focus markets were meeting planners at associations that are based in Chicago and to its west. Two years later, the GHCVB’s reach and responsibilities were expanded to cover all of the state as the current Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau.   Earlier, Koczka provided corporate sales direction for multiple hotel properties as the Northeast District Director for the Shaner Hotel Group, and then as Northeast Regional Director for GF Management, Inc. in Philadelphia. She began her career as Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Catering for the (now) Radisson Cromwell Hotel in Cromwell, Conn.   She holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Central Connecticut State University, with a major in Management and a minor Marketing Management.   Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. For more information, visit CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. Mon, 13 Feb 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/SUSAN-KOCZKA-CMP-JOINS-THE-CTCSB-AS-A-DIRECTOR-OF-NATIONAL-ACCOUNTS/78/ ANNUAL CT SYNCHRO SKATING CLASSIC COMING TO ISCC IN SIMSBURY – FEB. 10 & 11 http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/ANNUAL-CT-SYNCHRO-SKATING-CLASSIC-COMING-TO-ISCC-IN-SIMSBURY-FEB-10-11/77/ HAMDEN, CONN., February 2, 2017 – For the first time in history, U.S. Figure Skating’s World Junior Synchronized Team Selection Event will be held in Connecticut, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) has announced. The Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11, 2017 event will determine the two junior skating level teams that will represent Team USA at the 2017 International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in March. The 2017 qualifier will be held in conjunction with the Hamden Figure Skating Association (HFSA) 23rd annual Connecticut Synchro Skating Classic (CSSC) at the International Skating Center of Connecticut (ISCC) in Simsbury, Conn.   “It will be exciting to see thousands of skater athletes from across the nation skating to powerful music in dazzling costumes as they compete for a range of different level awards over two full days of back-to-back synchronized skating programs,” says Elaine Sangiovanni, a Co-Chair of the Connecticut Synchro Skating Classic (CSSC). “The opportunity to host this event in Connecticut is an honor for the Hamden Figure Skating Association, in partnership with the Charter Oak Figure Skating Club and International Skating Center of Connecticut.” Teams are expected to come from as far away as Minnesota.   “We are thrilled that this important national skating event chose Connecticut as its 2017 site,” explains Robert Murdock, Director of Sports Marketing for the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau.”It is expected to generate close to $850,000 in revenue for the Farmington Valley and Greater Hartford areas as visitors stay in nearby hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop, and enjoy our attractions. The skaters, their families, officials, and spectators will utilize approximately 1,000 overnight room nights at seven hotels, with The Simsbury Inn and the Avon Old Farms Hotel serving as headquarter hotels.” Murdock reports an estimated 429 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and over $67,000 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.   Synchronized skating is a growing sport in the United States and around the world. It is a team sport in which between eight and 20 skaters work together to perform highly skilled moves while maintaining precision, timing, formations and challenging sequences. Elements include creativity, circles, wheels, lines, intersections, spins to name a few. There are 14 competition levels, depending upon the age and skill of team athletes. The World Junior Team Selection event has been held annually since 2004. In 2015, the event was held in Dearborn, Mich., and the year before in Marlborough, Mass.   For more information about 2017 Connecticut Synchro Skating Classic (CSSC) at the International Skating Center of CT (ISCC), contact Elaine Sangiovanni or Trish Wang at HFSA/CSSC ctsynchroskatingclassic@gmail.com or visit www.eteamz.com/teamesprit   Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, CTCSB business resulted in more than $61.6 million spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating more than $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. Over 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* The CTCSB is a public-private partnership that is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.   *DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016. Thu, 02 Feb 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/ANNUAL-CT-SYNCHRO-SKATING-CLASSIC-COMING-TO-ISCC-IN-SIMSBURY-FEB-10-11/77/ CTCSB WELCOMES “2017 MIZUNO NEW ENGLAND WINTERFEST VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT” http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-WELCOMES-2017-MIZUNO-NEW-ENGLAND-WINTERFEST-VOLLEYBALL-TOURNAMENT-/76/ HARTFORD, CONN., January 12, 2017 – In 2010, the New England Region Volleyball Association (NERVA) brought its “Mizuno New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament” to the Connecticut Convention Center, holding it over the January Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and attracting thousands of female athletes from across the Northeast. Since that first year, the demand for player spots in the event has increased so greatly that the 2017 Tournament has expanded to two weekends and is being held at two locations. More than 14,000 visitors are expected to come to Greater Hartford over the two weekends, with a total of nearly 3,600 players on 324 teams, and thousands of family members, friends, tournament officials, college players, fans and spectators.   This coming weekend, over 2,600 athletes (ages 16 to 18) will travel to Connecticut’s Capital Region. From Saturday, January 14 through Monday, January 16 at the Connecticut Convention Center, they will play on 26 courts with 12 matches per court every day each lasting no more than one hour. On Saturday and Sunday, play also will take place at six volleyball courts at The Den, an indoor volleyball training center and practice facility at 30 Baker Hollow Road (off Day Hill Rd.) in Windsor, Conn. On Monday, January 16, all of the final championship games will be at the Connecticut Convention Center.   This Saturday morning, January 17 at 7:55 a.m., the three days of play will begin with an opening serve by Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin at the Connecticut Convention Center. The tournament play will begin immediately after.   Last weekend, close to 950 players competed on 11 courts at the Connecticut Convention Center during the Winterfest tournament for ages 12 to 15.   “We welcome back this tremendous tournament and commend the organizers for its growth and popularity,” says H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “Between last weekend and the upcoming long weekend, the tournament is expected to generate more than $4.5 million in revenue for the Greater Hartford region as visitors stay in hotels, dine in restaurants, shop, and enjoy attractions. Our office provides a variety of support services for the organizers and we manage the tournament’s hotel reservation process and, over the two weekends, they will utilize close to a total of over 5,600 room nights at 36 hotels throughout the Hartford area.” Phelps reports an estimated 1,317 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and $355,682 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.   “Our Mizuno New England Winterfest is designed to showcase female volleyball players, between ages 12 and 18, to college coaches and recruiters from throughout the Northeast U.S.,” explains Tournament Chair Alex Temkin. “The Northeast has one of the largest concentrations of Collegiate Division II and Division III schools in the country, with many Division I schools here as well.” We expect many college recruitment decision-makers to come and scout as many players as possible.”   “The New England Region Volleyball Association has committed to holding the event at the Connecticut Convention Center through at least 2020,” adds Winterfest’s Temkin. “Hartford is a great location for the Winterfest event and the city and region really make our players and fans feel welcome. Restaurants extend their hours and customize the menus, the Downtown dash shuttle bus adds hours of operation, and everyone is terrific about accommodating our group.”   “Winterfest brings an incredible energy to the Connecticut Convention Center and the city of Hartford and we are very excited to host the thousands of athletes, coaches and spectators,” says Michael Costelli, General Manager of the Connecticut Convention Center. “We have watched this tournament grow over the last seven years and this year we are honored to host Winterfest for two consecutive weekends.”   Winterfest tournament schedule at the Connecticut Convention Center and The Den in Windsor: Friday, Jan. 13: College Showcase, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Drills & ScrimmagesSaturday, Jan. 14: 7:55 a.m. Opening Serve by Hartford Mayor Bronin at CT Convention CenterSaturday, Jan. 14: Tournament 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.Sunday, Jan. 15: Tournament 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.   Winterfest Finals at the Connecticut Convention Center: Monday, Jan. 16: Tournament 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.   Spectator admission at the door at both locations: $13 per day or $30 for three days; Free under age 10.   On Friday evening, January 13 at 7 p.m., a College Showcase will be held at Winterfest in the Connecticut Convention Center where 300 athletes will participate in practice drills and scrimmage. More than 75 college coaches and recruiters will be on-site to watch and evaluate the players’ skills on an individual basis. As part of that event, at 7:15 p.m. next door at the Marriott Hartford Downtown, parents of volleyball players will attend a Recruiting Seminar where a panel of Division I, II and III college coaches will tell them what they need to know about college recruitment including calendars, NCAA terms and related topics. This free program is open to all parents of volleyball players – whether or not their child is participating in this tournament. No advance reservations are needed.   About the New England Region Volleyball Association (NERVA): The New England Region is one of many Regions in the United States that aid in the governing of the sport of volleyball. Regional Volleyball Associations (RVAs) are member organizations of USA Volleyball (USAV). The RVAs serve as the grassroots function for the USAV and individually and collectively serve as a catalyst for USAV functions. Each Region is independently operated and is led by a Regional Commission. For more about the Mizuno New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament, visit newinterfest.com.   Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, CTCSB business resulted in more than $61.6 million spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating more than $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. Over 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* The CTCSB is a public-private partnership that is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information, visit CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. (*DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016)   The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is the state’s premier meeting venue and the largest full-service convention facility between New York and Boston. Overlooking the beautiful Connecticut River, it features 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as ample sheltered parking. The venue is professionally managed for the State of Connecticut by Waterford Venue Services, an affiliate of Waterford Hotel Group. For more information, visit CTConventions.com or call 860-249-6000. Fri, 13 Jan 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-WELCOMES-2017-MIZUNO-NEW-ENGLAND-WINTERFEST-VOLLEYBALL-TOURNAMENT-/76/ CTCSB WELCOMES 2017 CYCLOCROSS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS TO HARTFORD http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-WELCOMES-2017-CYCLOCROSS-NATIONAL-CHAMPIONSHIPS-TO-HARTFORD/75/ CONNECTICUT CONVENTION & SPORTS BUREAU WELCOMES 2017 CYCLOCROSS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS TO HARTFORD’S RIVERSIDE PARK Projects $1.8 Million Economic Impact to the Capital Region   HARTFORD, CONN., January 3, 2017 – This week, Connecticut is the site of exciting winter sports action as the USA Cycling 2017 Cyclocross National Championships comes to Hartford’s Riverside Park at 20 Leibert Rd. from Tuesday, January 3 through Sunday, January 8. Planning for this major sports event has been gearing up over the past year and many area organizations and businesses are ready to greet this prestigious cyclocross competition. National championship titles will be awarded in age groups from 11 years old up to age 70 and older.   “We welcome this dynamic winter tournament and the thousands of the visitors it is bringing to the Greater Hartford region during the first week of this new year” says H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “We expect 1,800 athletes and hundreds of coaches, officials, staff and supporting vendors, plus thousands more spectators to come to the Capital region, resulting in an estimated $1.8 million in revenue for the Greater Hartford region.” Phelps notes that 18 hotels in the Capital City and its suburbs will be utilized during the week, with Downtown’s Hilton Hartford serving as the host hotel.   "The Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, Inc. (CCAP) is thrilled to be the Local Organizing Committee of the 2017 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Hartford,” says David Hoyle, Executive Director of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, Inc., which is based in Middletown, Conn. “Young riders of every age can expect a full spectrum of special experiences, including competitive National Championship and non-championship races, clinics lead by cyclocross professional legend Tim Johnson, CCAP’s junior pizza party with pro athletes, and the memorable excitement of the National Championship event." The event aligns very well with CCAP’s non-profit mission to provide CT’s youth and families with access and exposure to the sport of cycling.   “We are excited to have some of the best cyclists in the nation coming to Riverside Park and are ready to show how our park is a great fit for this and other winter activities,” states Michael Zaleski, President & CEO of Riverfront Recapture, Inc., the private, non-profit organization that manages Riverside Park. The organization leads the effort to reconnect metropolitan Hartford with the Connecticut River by providing access to four Riverfront parks in Hartford and East Hartford. “We host entertainment, sports, and cultural events and recreation in this spectacular natural setting throughout the year, and the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships is a great addition to our schedule.”   For full information about the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships – including the event schedule – go to: http://www.usacycling.org/2017/cxnationals   -END- Tue, 03 Jan 2017 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-WELCOMES-2017-CYCLOCROSS-NATIONAL-CHAMPIONSHIPS-TO-HARTFORD/75/ CTCSB BOARD ELECTION NEWS http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-BOARD-ELECTION-NEWS/74/   The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) has elected John A. O’Toole as Assistant Treasurer of its Board of Directors, and added Connecticut State Senator Paul Formica and Andrew Wolf as the Bureau’s newest Board members.   “As the State of Connecticut’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization, it is essential that our governing Board includes insightful business leaders who value the importance of the convention and the hospitality industries to our state and local economies,” explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. “John O’Toole, Sen. Paul Formica and Andrew Wolf all are dynamic assets to our already active Board, led by its Chair Paul O. Robertson, as our Bureau works to generate new convention, conference, meeting, and sports event business and revenue for Connecticut.”   John A. O’Toole is Community Relations and Economic Development Lead for Eversource. He is responsible for supporting the companies’ efforts in the community, economic policy, business and community development in Connecticut, and serves as the company’s chief liaison to key state and regional economic development organizations. A longtime supporter of the importance of the conventions and major events to the state’s economy, he has been a CTCSB Board member ever since the organization was established four years ago. Prior to that, he served as an Advisory Board member of the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau which expanded in 2012 to cover the entire state as the CTCSB.   Sen. Paul M. Formica has been the State Senator for southeastern Connecticut’s 20th Senate District since 2015, representing the residents of Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, Old Lyme, a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem, and Waterford. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the State Legislature’s Tourism Caucus. Prior to his election to the Senate, he was First Selectman of East Lyme for seven years, and was the Chairman of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments. A longtime resident of East Lyme, Sen. Formica has been the owner and operator of Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant in East Lyme for 31 years.   Andrew Wolf is the Director of the City of New Haven’s Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism (DACT). He is Special Advisor to Mayor Toni Harp for International Trade, and also is the Municipal Coordinator for New Haven Sister Cities, and the Executive Director of New Haven Festivals, a non-profit fund-raising and programming “platform” that promotes funding sponsorships and related cultural engagement initiatives in New Haven. Before his return to his native New Haven in 2014, he served as President of the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, and worked at CBS and The United Nations.   The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) is a public-private partnership that is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the CTCSB markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, CTCSB business resulted in more than $61.6 million spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating more than $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. Over 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.   *DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016  Pictured (left to right): Sen. Paul Formica; Andrew Wolf; and John A. O’Toole.     -END- Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CTCSB-BOARD-ELECTION-NEWS/74/ CT CONVENTION & SPORTS BUREAU HONORS COACH HOWIE DICKENMAN AT ITS 2016 HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY NIGHT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CT-CONVENTION-SPORTS-BUREAU-HONORS-COACH-HOWIE-DICKENMAN-AT-ITS-2016-HOSPITALITY-INDUSTRY-NIGHT/73/ PICTURED (left to right): -H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau; -Paul O. Robertson, Chair of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau; -Dee Rowe, retired Men’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of Connecticut; -Howie Dickenman, Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau’s Thomas J. Shortell Award recipient, and retired Men’s Basketball Head Coach at Central Connecticut State University; -Roger Wierbicki of DATTCO, the event’s Chair and the Secretary of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau; and -David Polk, President and Executive Director of The First Tee of Connecticut.     (Photo credit: Ben Jordan, Photo Images Co.)   At its 2016 Hospitality Industry Night, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) bestowed its Thomas J. Shortell Award to Howie Dickenman, the recently retired Men’s Basketball Head Coach at Central Connecticut State University. The CTCSB’s award is given to a Connecticut resident who has had a long-term successful sports career. The Thomas J. Shortell Award was presented to Dickenman by another Connecticut sports great, retired UConn Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dee Rowe.   More than 100 Connecticut hospitality industry (tourism, meetings & sports events) professionals from across the state gathered at The First Tee of Connecticut in Cromwell for the CTCSB’s annual networking event that showcases the value of the tourism, and convention and sports events business on the State’s economy. Attendees participated in putting and virtual long drive competitions, and a variety of Silent Auctions. They enjoyed tastings from Back East Brewing Company and Brockmans Gin, and refreshments from Ted’s Montana Grill – Hartford.   “Howie Dickenman has spent 40 years as one of our state’s greatest basketball coaches,” noted CTCSB President H. Scott Phelps. “He began his coaching career at New Britain High School, later worked at the University of Connecticut for many years, and spent the past two decades at Central Connecticut State University where he retired as Head Coach at the end of last season.”   Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, CTCSB business resulted in more than $61.6 million spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating more than $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. Over 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.*   For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.   *DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016. Thu, 13 Oct 2016 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CT-CONVENTION-SPORTS-BUREAU-HONORS-COACH-HOWIE-DICKENMAN-AT-ITS-2016-HOSPITALITY-INDUSTRY-NIGHT/73/ CT CONVENTION & SPORTS BUREAU WELCOMES USSSA NATIONAL GIRLS’ FASTPITCH SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CT-CONVENTION-SPORTS-BUREAU-WELCOMES-USSSA-NATIONAL-GIRLS-FASTPITCH-SOFTBALL-CHAMPIONSHIP/70/ The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) welcomes the return of the United States Specialty Sports Association’s (USSSA) National Girls’ Fastpitch Softball Championship on July 25-30, 2016. Forty-seven (47) teams, from as far away as Virginia, will compete in the 16UB and 12UB divisions on fields in East Hartford.“This year’s tournament is expected to generate more than $1.6 million for Greater Hartford businesses, as close to 3,000 out-of-state visitors will come, including talented young athletes, tournament officials and volunteers, and their families and friends,” explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “Our Bureau has been managing the tournament’s hotel reservation process, booking 2,180 room nights at hotels in Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, Windsor, East Windsor, Wethersfield, Glastonbury, and Wethersfield. Attendees also will visit area restaurants and visit nearby attractions, benefitting the local economies.” In addition, Phelps reports that spending by visitors will result in over $131,500 for the State in Connecticut Sales Tax. The tournament’s opening ceremony will take place on Monday, July 25 at 4 p.m. at New Britain Stadium in New Britain, in cooperation with the New Britain Bees. Tournament play will start on Tuesday, July 26 on seven fields at the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Club in East Hartford. New England USSSA Fastpitch is hosting the 2016 national championship. Teams will face off, first in pool play, then in double elimination for the championship. Trophies will be given to the top four teams in each division, and awards will be given for Team Sportsmanship, Outstanding Pitcher, Outstanding Offensive Player, Outstanding Defensive Player, and Most Valuable Player.  New England USSSA Fastpitch is dedicated to meeting the needs of the coaches, fans and, most importantly, players that it serves. The organization strives to make USSSA Fastpitch the best tournament and league experience with a professional organization with unmatched customer service, the most qualified umpires, technological advancements to more fully enjoy the sport, a full array of softball merchandise, and the best fields available. David Rocha, the USSSA Fastpitch State Director for Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, is the Tournament Director. For game schedule and more information, visit www.neusssafastpitch.com. The Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau (CTCSB) works in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and surrounding communities to market all of Connecticut – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, more than $61.6 million was spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating over $4.7 million in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 22,500 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* The CTCSB is a public-private partnership that is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789. *DMAI economic calculator FY 2015-2016 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMT http://www.ctmeetings.org/press-room/press-releases/view/CT-CONVENTION-SPORTS-BUREAU-WELCOMES-USSSA-NATIONAL-GIRLS-FASTPITCH-SOFTBALL-CHAMPIONSHIP/70/