ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A convention to beat all conventions—a meeting of meeting planners.
St. Louis County approved last night a plan to spend $250,000 to support the convention of the national organization of convention planners in early August. Kitty Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors’ Commission, says the convention’s presence in St. Louis will be a sort of “coming out” for the city.
“This convention typically is held in what they term a ‘first-tier city,'” Ratcliffe says. “Last year it was in L.A., the year before Toronto. They don’t often give cities like St. Louis, which they consider ‘second-tier,’ the opportunity.”
Ratcliffe says this will be the first time most of the prestigious convention planners will experience St. Louis, and the convention could lead to more meetings being held in the city.
“Those one-hotel meetings could easily be done at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, or at the Hilton-Frontenac or at the Sheratons at Westport,” Ratcliffe says.
However, budget watchdog Tom Sullivan says the county should not be sending money for a convention in the city.
“St. Louis county has so many other problems, it just seems to me that this is money that’s being spent for no particular reason,” Sullivan says. “[This money] is going to be spent on some kind of a party.”
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