Visit McAllen Wins Big at State Conference

Visit McAllen, a division of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, won two prestigious awards at the Texas Association for Conventions and Visitors Bureaus Annual Conference held in Denton, Texas.  As a department of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, Visit McAllen spearheads destination marketing initiatives for the City of McAllen.

Visit McAllen received 1st place for its newly formed City-Chamber co-op marketing program. The partnership has more than doubled funding to position McAllen as a premier destination for festivals and events, retail shopping, conferences and conventions, sports and nature tourism.

“Our partnership with the City of McAllen is key to our success,” said Robert Lopez, Interim Vice President/Director, Visit McAllen “This collaborative approach to marketing is what sets McAllen apart, and I’m grateful city leadership recognizes the value of tourism and takes action to support its continued growth.”

Visit McAllen also earned 2nd place for its National Travel and Tourism Week campaign, which took place May 5-11, 2019.  The weeklong local awareness campaign featured daily celebrations promoting McAllen as a tourist destination, including a warm welcome by the McAllen Greeters for visitors arriving at the McAllen International Airport with their signature Border Buttermilk reception, a 50-year McAllen tradition.

“Our goal for National Travel and Tourism Week was to raise awareness for the experiences that make McAllen unique while reminding everyone the impact visitors have on our community, and I believe we achieved that,” said Lopez.

Visit McAllen’s mission is to position McAllen as a regionally, nationally and internationally recognized destination by developing marketing programs, gaining positive media exposure and directing sales outreach to attract visitors and conventions to stimulate economic development and growth.

In 2018, the tourism industry in McAllen generated $598 million in direct travel spending and employed 7,000 people, up 9.1% and 3.7%, respectively. 

Photo (left to right): Leigh Wooldridge, Convention Sales Manager; Robert Lopez, Interim Vice President/Director; Lisa Ramirez, Convention Sales Manager

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in McAllen

Each year Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) conducts approximately 20 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seminars in cities like Houston, Dallas and Austin. This year, McAllen is among the cities selected. The McAllen seminar will be attended by approximately 100 state and regional attorneys, generating an estimated $17,500.00 for local businesses.

“We are pleased to be among the cities TCDLA selected to host seminars this year, and wish the participants all the best with their training.” said Lisa Ramirez, Sales Manager at Visit McAllen.

The purpose of TCDLA is to protect and ensure by rule of law those individual rights guaranteed by the Texas and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases; to resist the constant efforts which are now being made to curtail such rights: to encourage cooperation between lawyers engaged in the furtherance of such objectives though educational programs and other assistance; and through such cooperation, education and assistance to promote justice and the common good.

“We selected the Cambria Hotel McAllen Convention Center to host our November 2019 CLE Seminar,” said Amanda Rivera, TCDLA Program Coordinator. “(Cambria) has the meeting space and hotel accommodations we are looking for.”

If you are a member of an association or organization and would like to host your conference in McAllen, please contact Visit McAllen (McAllen Convention & Visitors Bureau) at 956-682-2871 to find out if your group qualifies for incentives.

photo cutline: Amanda Rivera, Program Coordinator at Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

McAllen to host Aptiv’s Executive Lean Leadership Training

Aptiv Global Technology Group selected Embassy Suites McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, Texas to host its Executive Lean Leadership Training this August. The four-day training conference will be attended by 34 international guests, generating an estimated $23,800.00 for local businesses.

Aptiv is a global technology company that develops safer, greener and more connected solutions enabling the future of mobility. Its headquarters are in Ireland, and has maquiladoras in Matamoros and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Lean leadership training has a long standing reputation in reducing total costs and improving process efficiency. Companies like Aptiv adopt “lean” to grow their business and find success in a competitive global market. The key to successful lean implementation is changing the culture and the way people think.

“Teaching people how to use tools can be easy; however, changing mental models requires determination and strategy,” said Lisa Ramirez, Sales Manager at Visit McAllen. “We welcome Aptiv’s Executive Lean Leadership Training to McAllen for the second time this year and wish the team all the best with their training!”

Aptiv’s Autonomous Mobility team is focused on developing and commercializing autonomous vehicles and systems that enable point-to-point mobility via large fleets of autonomous vehicles in challenging urban driving environments. Aptiv has talented teams working across the globe- from Singapore to Boston, to Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico.

“It has been my pleasure and tremendous honor to be working with our special partner and now our good friend Mr. Mario Perez of Aptiv,” said Steven Villarreal, Director of Sales at Embassy Suites McAllen Convention Center. “It’s a special privilege for us at Embassy Suites by Hilton McAllen Convention Center to be hosting Aptiv’s next event meetings.  We are looking forward to several other opportunities we will have again and again in the future to continue our partnership with Aptiv here at Embassy Suites in McAllen.”

If you are a member of an association or organization and would like to host your conference in McAllen, please contact Visit McAllen (McAllen Convention & Visitors Bureau) at 956-682-2871 to find out if your group qualifies for incentives.

photo (left to right): Steven Villarreal, Director of Sales at Embassy Suites McAllen Convention Center; and Mario Perez of APTIV. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods Sponsors Neon Nights 5k

Dick’s Sporting Goods is the official apparel sponsor for MXLAN’s Neon Nights 5k run. The family-friendly run will take place on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 8:30pm and is the opening event of McAllen’s 5-day summer music and interactive arts festival, MXLAN.

The race starts at the McAllen Convention Center and takes runners through West Side Park where the vibrant 3.1-mile course continues through McAllen’s Nature Center amid the glow of neon pathways and vibrant trails.

“We are excited to name Dick’s Sporting Goods as the official apparel sponsor,” said Robert Lopez, Interim Vice President, Visit McAllen, “we are encouraging runners to dress the part and purchase their neon race apparel at the store.”

The nighttime neon run honors the runners of Mexico’s ancient highlands with a night of vibrant lights, DJ music and energy.  Early registration is $30 and includes a commemorative t-shirt, finisher’s medal, glow gear and post-race festivities. Runners are encouraged to register early, as the event is limited to 2,000 participants.

Packet pick up will take place at Dick’s Sporting Goods in McAllen on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 from 4pm to 8pm. 

MXLAN is McAllen’s interactive arts & music festival celebrating the past, present, and future of Mexico’s cultural influence on our world. The 5-day festival takes place July 24th – 28th, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center.

The online registration deadline for the Neon Nights 5k run is Sunday, July 21st at midnight at MXLAN.com. On-site registration is 7pm – 8pm on Wednesday, July 24th at the Palm Lobby in the McAllen Convention Center. 

McAllen to Host Double Pageant

The Miss Texas World America Organization has selected McAllen to host its 2019 Miss Texas World America and Miss Texas Teen World America Double Pageant. The event will be held August 2 & 3, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center, and is expected to have approximately 500 attendees (including state-wide participants and audience); generating an estimated $262,500 for local businesses.

“We are delighted the Miss Texas World America Organization chose McAllen for its 2019 Double Pageant, and we are especially grateful to Della Fay Perez- Texas State Director,” said Lisa Ramirez, Convention Sales Manager at Visit McAllen. “Attracting events like this are conceivable with buy-in from local representatives.”

The winners of the Miss Texas World America and Miss Texas Teen World America will advance to the National Pageant in Las Vegas this September 2019.  The National winner of the Miss competition will move on to Miss World. The Miss World final show will be in Thailand in December 2019 where the reigning Miss World, Vanessa Ponce de León, will pass the crown on to the 69th Miss World.

“Since 1951 Miss World has inspired and empowered thousands of young women to use their talents to support the poor, sick and disadvantaged through its ‘Beauty With A Purpose’ charitable program,” said Della Fay Perez- Texas State Director of the Miss Texas World America Organization. “The longest-running international pageant, Miss World is not just a traditional beauty pageant, but rather a platform for women from across the globe to raise awareness and funds in aid of humanitarian causes. The organization prides itself on its philanthropic focus with millions of dollars being raised for good causes every year.”

For more information about the pageant, contact Della Fay Perez at (956) 867-0755. If you are a member of an association or organization and are interested in hosting your event in McAllen, contact Visit McAllen (McAllen Convention and Visitors Bureau) at (956) 682-2871 to find out if your group qualifies for incentives.

photo cut line:

Marisa Butler -Miss World America 2018


Freedom Bank Powers MXLAN’s Volunteers

MXLAN 2019 is coming and Freedom Bank is powering its’ volunteer component. MXLAN is McAllen’s 5-day interactive arts & music festival that celebrates Mexican culture through open-air performances, street food, artisans, and outdoor music. The summer’s premier festival is for a new generation and launches from the McAllen Convention Center July 24th – 28th 2019. 

“The volunteer component of MXLAN involves hundreds of volunteers covering more than 1,400 shifts over the 5 days of happenings,” said Lisa Ramirez, Volunteer Coordinator for MXLAN & Sales Manager at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude by the generosity of Freedom Bank for fueling our volunteer efforts.”

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is awarding Community Service Hours, T-shirts, Tickets to Concerts and Gaming Events in exchange for volunteer assistance. 

“Freedom Bank just could not pass up the chance to support the volunteer component of MXLAN,” said Arturo Ortega, Chairman and CEO of Freedom Bank. “A lot of hard work goes into putting on a world class event like this, it is a tremendous opportunity and I encourage all students to take full advantage and gain hands on work experience. We also encourage other businesses to talk to their employees about signing up to volunteer. This is a great opportunity for team building and giving back to the community.”

If you are interesting in volunteering, visit the link to register for specific shifts: http://mxlan.com/mxlan-volunteers. If you have any questions about volunteering, please contact Lisa Ramirez at 956-682-2871 or lramirez@visitmcallen.com. For more information on the festival visit: http://mxlan.com/

photo cut line:

Arturo Ortega, Chairman and CEO of Freedom Bank.

Lisa Ramirez – Volunteer Coordinator, MXLAN & Sales Manager, Visit McAllen (McAllen Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau)


CVB Press Release Archive

What is MXLAN?

MXLAN is created to be a true destination event with the purpose of attracting visitors from throughout Texas and Mexico. The 5-day summer music & interactive arts festival celebrates the past, present, and future of Mexico’s cultural influence on our world. The festival will take place in and around McAllen’s Convention Center from July 24-28, 2019.

Visitors can catch 5 days of free musical performances at the MXLAN Breakthrough stage, watch street artists, visit artisan markets, and walk in street parades at sunset- with a letter burning ceremony each night of M-X-L-A-N. Free-to-all.

Event goers can join in on real calenda-style street parades with live music, giant dancing dolls, and an unforgettable experience – Oaxaca’s La Guelaguetza performers sharing ancient traditions with a new generation.

Tickets available for the 7/16 MXLAN Unite Music Festival, Mezcal & Tequila Catrina night, Circo Hermanos Vazquez, Firemasters, Neon Nights 5K, Sabor de Mexico, MXLAN Mindgames e-sports, and La Guelaguetza.

There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities available, so if you or any organization would like to be part of this historical event, please contact Lisa Ramirez at lramirez@visitmcallen.com or register online at http://mxlan.com/mxlan-volunteers

For more information and a detailed schedule of events visit mxlan.com

McAllen Tourism

McAllen Tourism in Uptrend

Published June 2019

Tourism is vital to McAllen’s economy, and the industry has been in an uptrend thus far in 2019. According to the Texas Hotel Performance Factbook,room revenues in McAllen were up 16.5% in the first quarter compared to the same time last year. In addition, hotel occupancy and average daily rates were up 3.4% and 8%, respectively.  This means more people are traveling to McAllen and hotel rates are healthy.

“When hotel occupancy and rates are both trending upward, this means our local hotels are getting a steady flow of travelers without having to sacrifice rate to bring them in,” said Robert Lopez, Interim Vice President of Visit McAllen.

This fiscal year, Visit McAllen has booked 55 conferences, meetings and sports events, generating an estimated $12,212,390 for local businesses with more than 17,000 room nights for local hotels.

“Our goal is to bring visitors to McAllen because visitors mean money. They shop in our stores, eat at our restaurants and stay in our hotels, and they are essential to have a thriving economy,” added Lopez.

Visit McAllen is a division of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Its mission is to position McAllen as a regionally, nationally and internationally recognized destination by developing marketing programs, gaining positive media exposure and directing sales outreach to attract visitors and conventions to stimulate economic development and growth.

McAllen to Host 2020 TAPT Annual Conference

Published May 2019

The Texas Association for Pupil Transportation will host its 47th Annual Conference and Trade Show in McAllen June 25, 2020. The five-day conference will take place at the McAllen Convention Center.

The Texas Association for Pupil Transportation promotes safe and efficient pupil transportation for Texas public school districts. The organization encourages the exchange of ideas and cooperation between transportation departments across the Lone Star State. Its members work to improve pupil transportation policies, standards and equipment on the local, state and national level.

The annual conference is expected to have 700 attendees from throughout the state participating in continuing education courses, professional certification classes, and a bus road-eo along with the largest trade show in the school bus industry.

“This is the second time McAllen is hosting the TAPT Annual Conference, and we look forward to making the event memorable for everyone involved,” said Robert Lopez, Interim Vice President, Visit McAllen.

The conference was previously held in McAllen in 2012 and is expected to have an economic impact of $857,500 for local businesses.

If you are a member of a professional organization and would like to host your conference in McAllen, please contact Visit McAllen at 956-682-2871

Photo: Marisa Weisinger, TAPT Executive Director / Steve Batchelor, TAPT Vice President