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Plans have gone into action to build a 1,000-room Marriot Marquis hotel next to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston as members of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) recently celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary.

Progress on Houston’s second convention center hotel now moves forward with the completion of


The Marriot Marquis would be the second hotel for Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.

the development agreement. Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Ric Campo, chairman of Houston First Corp., said the agreement between Houston First and the RIDA Development Corp., the hotel developer, has been executed and project financing completed to include funds to acquire the hotel site, build an adjacent parking garage and improve the city’s convention district. The documents also authorize the transfer of land for the hotel’s construction from Houston First to the RIDA.

“It’s an exciting project that will help increase our convention business and generate more activity in downtown Houston,” said Parker. “Work can now begin in earnest.”

As the meetings marketplace became more competitive in recent years, the GHCVB began developing annual tradeshows from the ground up that will stimulate Houston’s economy for years to come. The GHCVB launched the Total Energy USA Conference and Expo in 2012, which is the first of its kind in North America to examine all sources of energy in one place. Due to this distinctive approach and the quality of the program content and speakers, the Houston Chronicle rated it as one of the top 5 energy shows of 2012.

Under that same model, the GHCVB reached an agreement to bring an annual medical event to Houston, beginning in April 2014. The GHCVB will partner with the producer of the largest medical show in the world, MEDICA, to develop Medical World Americas in Houston to further enhance the Texas Medical Center’s global reputation.

Medical World Americas is the first in a series of health care-related business the GHCVB is pursuing, working in partnership with the Texas Medical Center. The most prominent of these prospects is the International Conference on the Genome, put together by the Human Genome Organization based in Singapore. A unique aspect of this bid is a joint invitation in partnership with Edinburgh, Scotland, a member of the BestCities marketing alliance.

On the energy front, the GHCVB started working recently to bring the World Petroleum Congress to Houston. The GHCVB will organize a bid committee for 2017, which will include players from some of Houston top energy companies. This particular conference would represent a major achievement for Houston – generating about 42,000 room nights for local hotels.

The 2013 leadership was selected at the December 2012 board meeting. Alex Brennan-Martin, owner of Brennan’s of Houston, will continue as chair of the GHCVB for a second term. Longtime GHCVB employee Patti Olson fwas honored for her 41 years of service to the organization with the inaugural John D. O’Connell award, which is named after the GHCVB’s chairman emeritus.

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