Between the Lines: Making Cleveland more welcoming

10:49 AM, Jul 14, 2013   |    comments
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Greater Cleveland is expecting a record number of tourists and visitors coming to share parts of the Cleveland experience this year.

About 16 million people are expected to check out many  offerings.

The summer season recently began with the Tall Ships.

On Friday July 19, another big event kicks off.

The Senior Games is expected to bring 35,000 athletes and visitors.

It's the first major event at the new Convention Center which is putting Cleveland back in the convention game after years of competing with an outdated or no facility.

A big event, the Gay Games, will be here next year.

Positively Cleveland and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance are two groups working to enhance the visitor experience.

There are pushes to train waiters, taxi drivers, bartenders and all those hospitality workers who interact with visitors to be more helpful and positive about the city.

Positively Cleveland's David Gilbert has said, "The work of Positively Cleveland ultimately is about bringing more people to Cleveland spending money and creating jobs."

The hospitality industry is Cleveland's 4th biggest employer.

The groups are working to improve Cleveland overall as a product and destination that is welcoming, friendly and simple to navigate.

A batch of new hotels are planned or opening.

A flagship hotel connected to the Convention Center will be the city's biggest.

How will all this impact a possible bid for a political convention?

What is Cleveland's current perception to convention planners and ordinary prospective visitors?

What is the overall impact on the local economy?

How does Cleveland compare with regional rivals, like Columbus, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis?

Will the Convention Center deliver as much as is expected for the huge taxpayer investment?

Tom Beres and the Plain Dealer's Mark Naymik and Henry Gomez discuss these issues with Positively Cleveland's David Gilbert and Joe Marinuci of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance on this edition of Between the Lines.


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