By-law Changes to Expanded Membership
(Charlotte, NC) - August 30, 2006 - The Charlotte Area Hotel Association (CAHA) has expanded its membership reach with a by-laws change enacted by the membership at an August meeting. Bill DeLoache, General Manager of the Doubletree Hotel Charlotte at Gateway Village, and current President of CAHA, said, "Originally started for the full-service convention and meetings hotels, there are a number of hotels that we would like to have in membership, that are currently excluded because of our definition of a full-service hotel." Formed in 2002, CAHA originally adopted membership criteria that required a hotel to have a full restaurant, banquet food facilities, room service and other amenities in order to qualify for membership. According to CAHA Executive Director, Sid Smith, "There are just too many other hotels that are significant players in the convention and meetings business that don't meet one or more of those criteria and we want them at the table as we work towards growing this business in the region." These criteria were dropped, and membership is now open to any hotel.
Another change announced by CAHA, was an expansion of the geographical area of membership. Heretofore limited to Mecklenburg County, the membership voted to expand eligibility on a more regional basis, by including not only Mecklenburg, but also all of the contiguous counties in either North or South Carolina. DeLoache said, "This follows in line with the regional marketing approach of the new CRVA (Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority) and recent membership moves by other organizations like the Greater Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. "There is a real coordinated effort to bring ever bigger meetings and events into the region that will impact a lot more people and hotels than just in Mecklenburg County," Smith added. "The impact of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Basketball tournament rippled out into South Carolina, and the new white water rapids facility on Lake Wylie are good examples of the future."
One other major change was the addition of a membership category for hotel ownership groups. Any such firm with its corporate headquarters located in the geographic region of the Association's membership base, can now join in a single membership for all its operating hotels in the area. This brings local corporate hotel management to the table, without having to join and pay for every single one of their hotel operations, no matter how small.
In its four years of operation, CAHA has become known for speaking for the full-service hotels only. It will now represent the business interests of its member hotels, all of which are involved somehow in the conventions, meetings and tourism business regionally. While CAHA is, and will continue to be, active in local leadership issues regarding the hotel industry, and the business of travel and tourism, it has also had a large focus in operational areas, and offers information and programs to help its members in sales, marketing, human resources and other business challenges. This emphasis will continue.
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