With Kansas City’s convention infrastructure poised to be its most competitive since the 1976 Republican National Convention, Visit KC has picked a top hospitality executive from Pittsburgh to help the city cash in on its investment.
Jason Fulvi is the new president and CEO of Visit KC, the metro’s primary convention and tourism marketing organization, according to a press release form the organization.
He comes here with 32 years experience in the hospitality industry, his most recent post being executive vice president at VisitPITTSBURGH.
Fulvi replaces Ronnie Burt, who resigned in January of this year.
His arrival comes as construction is underway on the long-sought convention hotel and as the city prepares to build a new airport terminal at KCI, both major hospitality investments.
The 800-room Kansas City Convention Hotel is scheduled to open in April 2020 at 17th and Baltimore, the new KCI terminal in fall 2022.
Other major downtown investments in recent years related to making the city more attractive to conventions include the Power & Light entertainment district, the Kay Barnes Ballroom at Bartle Hall, the Sprint Center and the streetcar line.
Besides the new convention hotel, there are currently other hotel projects either recently completed or announced that would add another 1,500 rooms to the downtown inventory:
-The new 120-room 21c Museum Hotel in the former Savoy at 219 W. Ninth St.
–A new 112-room Home2 Suites by Hilton at 20th and Main
–A 75-room Holiday Inn Express redevelopment in the former Interstate building at 417 E. 13th St.
–A new 132-room Hampton Inn under construction at 16th and Main.
–A new 118-room Indigo hotel in the former Brookfield building at 11th and Baltimore.
–An 80-room Indigo hotel redevelopment underway at 2020 Grand.
–A 131-room Crossroads Hotel redevelopment of historic buildings underway at 2101 and 2107 Central St.
-A 70-room addition to the Ambassador Hotel underway at 1111 Grand.
-A proposed 321-room Embassy Suites in the historic Federal Reserve Bank at 925 Grand
-A proposed 153-room Hyatt House at Ninth and Broadway
-A proposed 242-room Drury Hotel at 1211 McGee St.
The Sheraton and Westin Hotels at Crown Center, and the Downtown Marriott also have made substantial investments in recent years.
“As a destination marketing professional, I am impressed by the commitment the city’s leadership has shown to make Kansas City a world-class destination for tourism, meeting and conventions,” Fulvi said in a statement.
“This is one of the best, well thought-out convention packages in the industry, and the city and local hospitality leadership should be proud of what they have accomplished.
“The icing on the cake is the city’s continued momentum, including developments such as the Loews KC Convention Center Hotel and the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.”
Visit KC conducted a national search for its new top executive, according to its release.
“We were drawn to Mr. Fulvi because of his extensive background in hospitality, widespread industry knowledge and proven ability to lead and empower,” CiCi Rojas, chairwoman of the Visit KC board, said in a statement.
Fulvi is moving up the convention industry ladder, according to the Top 50 U.S. Meetings Destinations list compiled by Cvent, which describes itself as a global, marketing, event and travel technology leader. KC ranked 39th in 2017, Pittsburgh 45th.
According to the Visit KC release, City Manager Troy Schulte met Fulvi during the interview process.
“Visit KC’s work is important to the economic vitality of our city and region,” Schulte said in a statement. “With Jason at the helm, I feel confident that we have ensure the organization’s continued success and a fruitful partnership with the city.”
Fulvi begins his job Sept. 12.
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.