Published on Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Southern US meeting market recovers quickly from natural disasters

The Southern US has recently had more than its share of natural disasters with tornados and high-water levels on the Mississippi River but how has the meeting market weathered the storm?

Areas such as the Memphis CVB have quickly gotten word out that major meeting venues, hotels and roadways are operating normally.

“Ninety-eight percent of our community is dry, water-free and open for business,” said Kevin Kane, CEO of the Memphis CVB, in a statement.

He added the airport and conference and convention facilities are operating at capacity.

Some downriver cities in Mississippi such as Tunica were impacted with temporary closings, but most gaming areas remained intact, according to CVB officials.

The closure of some gaming casinos in Mississippi will have economic impacts but most were temporary. Meeting officials are predicting that by now most casinos should be back in business.

In Alabama, where hotels and tourist attractions survived 23 tornadoes in the northern half of the state, it appears to be back to business as usual.

In Birmingham, the major convention center there escaped damage and no convention or trade shows were cancelled, according to a spokesman.

By David Wilkening

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