Warmth, Sun and Sea: Corpus Christi Provides the Perfect Event Climate
31 Dec, 2009By: Andrea Johnson
If you're looking for an exceptional sports event climate, one where there's unparalleled warmth, sun and sea, where you'll be treated like a VIP and be a hero to your attendees, then it's time to experience Corpus Christi.
"When I host an event in Corpus Christi, I receive personalized attention. They've got great facilities and the people you deal with are just outstanding," says Mike Kruizinga, president of K-1 Events International. Kruizinga is an authority on sports venues, considering that his company operates and promotes at least 50 sports events per year across North America.
In August, K-1 Events brought hundreds of volleyball players to Corpus Christi for its Spikefest Tour Finals, the world's largest three-on-three and five-on-five volleyball tournaments. Kruizinga was impressed with how skillfully the Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau helped him stage every aspect of his event. The bureau connects event planners with the perfect venues, and there's plenty of amazing ones in Corpus Christi, notes Kruizinga.
"They put us right in front of the Texas State Aquarium, a stunning location on Corpus Christi Beach," said Kruizinga. "Our participants had a fabulous time - there's so much in one spot: great restaurants, bars, and entertainment, not to mention the spectacular beaches on the Gulf of Mexico."
"Corpus Christi is gorgeous year-round; we can easily host soccer tournaments in December and softball tournaments and marathons in January and February, avoiding the cold that paralyzes everyone else," notes Ed Persall, vice president of Convention and Sports Sales for the Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau. "In addition to our physical warmth, we pride ourselves in the warmth of our community and our family friendliness. There's an amazing selection of things to do here that people of all ages will enjoy," he continued.
Creating a Vacation
It's very easy for participants to create a vacation out of their stay in Corpus Christi. They can get up close and personal with bottle nose dolphins at the Texas State Aquarium; experience the diverse culture of Texas at the Heritage Park and Cultural Center; take a step into history while touring or attending a meeting on board the World War II-ear naval carrier, the U.S.S. Lexington Museum on the Bay, or immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Padre Island National Seashore, the largest remaining natural barrier island in the world. Plus, there's an amazing selection of water sports, fishing and dining too - Corpus Christi's location means they can offer exceptional seafood.
"Best of all, event participants can afford to bring the entire family, because our prices for lodging, food and entertainment are significantly less expensive than other locales," notes Persall. Citing some examples, "A buffet breakfast at a chain hotel in Corpus Christi is about $10.95, while that same breakfast at that same hotel in Houston or San Antonio may be almost twice that much. The same goes for just about any restaurant, you're going to be paying less in Corpus Christi. Furthermore, our rates for the hotel room will likely be significantly less during the week, as the hotels in the bigger cities are inundated with corporate business and can keep prices high because of the intense demand. We offer spectacular beach front property for as little as $89 a night."
World Class Venues
And even though Corpus Christi has only a fraction of the population of San Antonio, Houston or Dallas, the American Bank Center is a world class venue. This single easy-to-use facility provides the versatility and convenience to host multiple activities and events with a stunning view of the Corpus Christi Bay.
The Convention Center includes a 76,500-square-foot exhibit hall, 22 meeting rooms, a 20,000-square-foot ballroom and a breathtaking Grand Foyer capable of hosting more than 700.
The Selena Auditorium seats 2,526 and features a 2,880-square-foot rehearsal hall, two committee rooms and a 2,000-square-foot rotunda.
More than 76,500 square-feet of exhibit hall space is conveniently adjacent to the multi-purpose arena that seats up to 10,000.
State-of-the-art audio-visual and data communications capabilities are available throughout the facility.
The American Bank Center can comfortably serve 50 to 10,000 people for events ranging from ice hockey to power lifting to basketball. Furthermore, a top-notch marketing and events coordination team will make sure everything runs smoothly from start to finish. They'll gladly oversee the smallest details whether that's finding mark-up boards, creating CAD floor plans, attaining licenses for fireworks, or handling publicity and promotion.
"We're really a one-stop shop that's totally dedicated to every aspect of your event, from the day you book it to the day you load out," says John Meyer, CFE, American Bank Center, director of convention center operations and special projects. "We have everything on site to help you perfectly execute the event - public relations, graphic design, marketing and more. And it's all in-house once you book your event here. We're eager for the opportunity to host your event and will bend over backwards to provide the exceptional service that ensures every aspect runs smoothly."
Does your event need to be taken out to the ballpark? You won't find a better place than Corpus Christi's Whataburger Field, which was named the Sports Turf Managers Association Field of the Year. Whataburger Field has a retro feel that harkens back to baseball's heyday and offers 5,050 fixed seats, 19 luxury suites and two outfield berm areas to accommodate nearly 2,000 fans, making it unforgettable.
Plethora of Entertainment
Best of all, these world-class venues are all located within blocks of each other in the heart of Corpus Christi's downtown, featuring plenty of entertainment including an array of dining establishments, clubs, bars and theatres. In fact, getting around Corpus Christi is remarkably stress-free. Even though the city boasts a population of more than 300,000, you can get from one end of town to the other in less than 15 minutes just about any time of the day. Downtown hotels are an ultra-quick shuttle ride or easy walking distance to most sports venues.
Location, Location, Location
Getting to Corpus Christi is painless too. Their international airport is just 10 minutes from all of the major hotels, and features easy connections on American, Continental and Southwest Airlines from Dallas or Houston. Corpus Christi is also within three hours driving distance of San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Laredo, McAllen, Harlingen and even Mexico, making the city a natural favorite for international soccer events.
"It really couldn't be any easier to host an event in Corpus Christi," says Kruizinga. "There's a real hometown feel down there. You feel like you're genuinely wanted; you don't get lost in the shuffle. And if you want to draw a crowd that wants to have fun, too, Corpus Christi is absolutely the right choice. They've got a good market, good facilities, and, most of all, great people within their Convention and Visitors Bureau who strive to make events successful. They really get it. And that's what really matters most, you can have a city with two identical offerings, but you always want to go with the one that will deliver,whether your event is big or small, and Corpus Christi definitely delivers."
"Our goal is to make event planners look great," says Persall. "And that's all about choosing the right destination. We want everyone who comes to an event in Corpus Christi to walk away and say, ‘Wow! We had a great time and we can't wait to do that again!'"
For more information about Corpus Christi, go to www.VisitCorpusChristiTX.org.