COGIC moves 2010 convocation to St. Louis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

COGIC moves 2010 convocation to St. Louis

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis tradition of more than 100 years will end in 2010.  Tuesday night, officials with Church of God in Christ voted to move their 2010 convocation from Memphis to St. Louis.

Kevin Kane, President and CEO Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, said it would be a big loss for the Memphis hospitality industry.

"For a lot of people in the hospitality industry, it's their biggest week of the year," Kane said.

Kevin Kane, President and CEO Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau visited the Church of God in Christ World Headquarters Tuesday afternoon as part of a last ditch effort to save the convocation.

"We came over here obviously to see if we could talk to some of the leadership about what was going on," he said. "We still haven't been able to have any dialog."

Kane said the convocation is the largest convention each year in Memphis.  Last year it brought in more than $35 million in the one week it was here.

"It's very competitive out there. Cities with larger buildings, larger hotels, are literally out there trying to buy business," Kane said. "Do whatever they can do to help this economic shortfall people are feeling."

To move the convocation, COGIC will need to break some contracts, but even that isn't enough to keep St. Louis from nabbing it.

"There will be some contract issues," Kane said. "If what I'm hearing is true, I've been told the city that is after them is willing to pay whatever penalties might be out there."

Kane said the Convention and Visitors Bureau will start working Wednesday to fill all the rooms that will be empty during the seven day hole now in 2010.

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