Driving Meeting and Sports Business to the Yakima Valley

2013-04-16_11-34-58_648This week the hospitality industry of Yakima went to the  LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma to show Washington state meeting and sports planners that the Yakima Valley is ready to drive results for their meetings and events.

Sixty-two staff from thirty-one  groups came to the museum to learn about new services for the meeting and sports industry in Yakima, network, enjoy food and have fun. The event was sponsored by Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau, Yakima Convention Center and Yakima Valley Sports Commission. It was also an opportunity for the participants to meet staff from Centerplate, the new caterer for the Yakima Convention Center.

“These social events with meeting planners and sports organizers are a key way we keep in touch,” stated John Cooper, President and CEO of the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau. “It gives our industry an opportunity to provide the attendees with updates while learning how we can better serve them.”

Yakima Convention Center and Centerplate staff working the trade show

Yakima Convention Center and Centerplate staff working the trade show

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Yakima Convention Center Choses New Caterer

logoCenterplate, one of the largest hospitality companies in the world, will become the exclusive food service provider for the Yakima Convention Center on May 1st.  Centerplate serves more than 115 million guests each year in more than 300 venues throughout North America and the United Kingdom.  Centerplate’s current client list includes convention centers in Dallas, Miami, and San Diego, major entertainment venues like the Spokane Arena, the Tacoma Dome, and the New Orleans Arena, and pro sports franchises such as the Denver Broncos (NFL), Seattle Mariners (MLB), and Portland Timbers (MLS).

“We’re excited about the experience and quality that Centerplate brings to the Yakima Convention Center,” said Yakima City Manager Tony O’Rourke.  “Centerplate clearly has a proven track record for outstanding customer service that our Convention Center guests will enjoy.  We are looking forward to a long and productive relationship,” said O’Rourke.

Centerplate will offer several new selections that include a Northwest take on fresh, local ingredients sourced from neighboring suppliers have been created for the Convention Center’s menu by renowned Executive Chef Matthew Lecours, who has served as Microsoft’s District Chef and as Centerplate’s Executive Sous Chef at Safeco Field.  Yakima Valley wines will also be prominently featured on the Convention Center’s menu.

“We know the Yakima Convention Center is a valuable asset to the community,” said Centerplate Regional Vice President Adrian Dishington.  “Centerplate’s goal is to provide each guest with a one-of-a-kind authentic experience while also providing local businesses with opportunities to partner with us.  By working hand in hand with meeting planners and event specialists, we’ll deliver world class hospitality for each and every guest at the Convention Center,” said Dishington.

Centerplate has been the hospitality service provider for numerous major events including thirty U.S. Presidential inaugural balls, thirteen Super Bowls, twenty one World Series, and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  The company was recently named by Nation’s Restaurant News as the fastest growing restaurant/hospitality groups in the United States.

The Yakima Convention Center is the premiere meeting facility in Central Washington and last year served more than 125,000 guests and generated nearly $9 million in economic activity. The center is owned by the City of Yakima and managed by the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau.