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Does Anchorage Seem Busy This Week? It Might be the 2,550 Convention Delegates in Town

Anchorage, Alaska – Sept. 21, 2011 – This is a busy week for the Anchorage Convention Centers; by Wednesday afternoon, Anchorage will be buzzing with some 2,550 meeting delegates. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) meets in the William A. Egan Civic & Convention Center this week, while just down the street the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center is preparing for one of the largest national conventions in the city’s history, the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum.

The ATA meeting started Tuesday and exceeded attendance expectations by 30 percent. Approximately 400 delegates were expected for the meeting, but event organizers say that in the end, 550 showed. The ATA’s meeting opened Tuesday morning in the Egan Center with a talk from A. Stewart Ferguson, chief information officer at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the ATA’s president-elect. Martin Buser also presented; his appearance ran long as convention delegates lined up for a visit with dogs from his kennel.

Just two blocks away, the Dena’ina Center is making final preparations for thousands of guests. Tomorrow, the 2011 USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum kicks off in Anchorage. Approximately 2,000 Lions from around the world will attend the forum, which runs Sept. 22-24.

“This is a perfect example of the versatility of Anchorage’s two convention centers,” said Julie Saupe, ACVB president & CEO. “We couldn’t host two groups of this size simultaneously without both centers, and without the Dena’ina Center, we wouldn’t be able to host the Lions or any group with similar needs at all.”

Taken as a whole, September is one of the busiest months of the year for conventions held in Anchorage. Hundreds of members of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery wrapped up a meeting in Anchorage on Sunday, Sept. 18; many delegates are still in Alaska exploring on their own.  The National Indian Health Board meeting will draw 500 delegates to town Sept. 26-29; many of those attending will arrive this weekend. A total of 69 meetings will take place in Anchorage during September 2011 for an estimated economic impact to Anchorage of $11.8 million dollars.

The Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (ACVB) mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. ACVB’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. ACVB receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.

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