Visit Omaha, the tourism authority for the city of Omaha and Douglas County, Neb., is redirecting its office-space budget to support the local hospitality community.
In this "Rent for Recovery" initiative, the organization intends to give up its current offices for the next 12 to 24 months, saving approximately $250,000. The convention and visitors bureau won't stop meeting face-to-face, however; rather, Visit Omaha will book meeting rooms each week at different hotels, attractions and restaurants to host its staff meetings — channeling some of that savings back into local businesses.
“Essentially, this initiative means we will rent space for 52 meetings in the next year to support businesses hit hardest by the pandemic,” said Visit Omaha interim executive director Deborah Ward. “By giving up our office and utilizing our partners’ available meeting space, we hope to provide support to an industry that employs nearly 18,000 local residents. In addition, this initiative will allow us to forge more personal relationships with our tourism partners after a year of such upheaval and change.”
The Omaha Visitor Center will remain open and do double duty as the organization's administrative headquarters for the duration of the initiative.