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Midlands Authority Ends FY 2011-2012 on High Note

Published: 7/30/2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Monday, July 30, 2012)- Continuing to set records and surpass goals Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC), governed by Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism (MACST), proudly reports completing one of the strongest fiscal years in the building's history.

"To say we've had a great year is an understatement," said Mack Stone, general manager for CMCC. "Coming off the highest earning third quarter the building has ever seen motivated the entire staff to finish strong."

Projecting food service revenues of $420,000, CMCC ended the year bringing in $811,928.62; 93.3% over the anticipated earnings. Similarly, parking and utilities revenues spiked with 122.63% and 128.07% respectively above estimated earnings. All revenue streams totaled $3,662,021.87 in revenue for FY 2011-2012; 12.26% over the original estimates.

One significant change CMCC saw this year compared to recent years was the increase of companies and organizations booking multi-day functions for their employees.

"The CMCC's success is a reflection of the business community today," said Stone. "We have seen a large number of companies and organizations who, a few years ago, held back on large scale employee meetings, conventions, workshops, seminars and training sessions begin to incorporate these elements back into their company's framework."

Highlights of FY 11-12 include regional, national and international meetings and conventions such as Alpha Phi Alpha Southern Regional Conference, World Congress on Ultrasound in Medical Education, South Carolina Bar Convention, Environmental Systems Research Institute, US Foods, Pure Fishing and American Cheer Xtreme to name a few.

Toward the end of the fiscal year, CMCC saw an added boost due to the 2012 Miss South Carolina Pageant. In addition to a gala held at CMCC, the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization utilized 1,143 hotel rooms and filled the Township Auditorium for 10 days. This year, the pageant saw a 33% increase in hotel rooms booked for contestants and their families, as well as an overall increase in attendance at all public events. With 102 contestants competing for the Miss South Carolina and Miss Teen South Carolina crowns, this event became the 2nd largest state pageant in the country.

"Experiencing a strong fiscal year like the one we just completed spurs an organization on leading into the next year," said Ric Luber, president and CEO of MACST. "The entire Midlands Authority team operates with a unified mission of attracting individuals, both business and travel, to the Columbia region. In doing this, we are doing our part to directly impact the local economy."

CMCC does not receive any funding from local residents, but instead receives an annual 3% tourism development tax affixed to all hotel rooms across the Columbia region. Because of this tax, paid primarily by out of town guests, Stone and Luber both agree this is yet another reason why tourism across the region is so important.

About the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism:
The Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism is a private, not-for-profit corporation funded primarily by revenue generated by visitors through accommodations taxes and is the parent organization of Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, and Columbia Regional Sports Council. The mission of the Midlands Authority is to strengthen the area's economy by marketing and selling of the entire Columbia region, its accommodations, restaurants, facilities and attractions as a destination for meetings, conventions, tradeshows, special events and leisure travel. For more information, please visit columbiacvb.com.

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