|By Ashley Meeks, Las Cruces Sun-News,
N.M.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 7, 2009--LAS CRUCES -- The Las Cruces Convention Center isn't projected to be finished until the end of 2010, but its new general manager will start chasing engagements for it Monday.
Facility operator Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast Spectacor that manages more than 80 assembly facilities in North America, named David Hicks as general manager Thursday, according to a news release from the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Hicks, 31, began work with Global Spectrum in 2007 as director of sales and marketing at Century Center Convention Center in South Bend, Ind.
"David is an incredibly talented marketer, salesman and team leader and will become a driving force in the Las Cruces community," said Global Spectrum Chief Operating Officer John Page in the release. "Based on the successes that he has had in his previous role, combined with his high level of enthusiasm, David will make the Las Cruces Center a fun, enjoyable center for the entire region."
Hicks declined to say what his salary would be in his new role, which will include overseeing daily operations, including hiring and training of full- and part-time staff, finances and scheduling, booking and marketing of the events at the Las Cruces Convention Center.
The facility, to be built on a 10-acre lot at the southwest corner of University and Union avenues, will total 55,000 square feet and cost $21.7 million through a contract awarded to Jaynes Corp. of Albuquerque.
Hicks said Thursday it would be
important to be on-site during the construction process and to start work lining up bookings.
"With conventions, we book two to three years out and a two-year lead time on a convention is a good time to be there, so we'll look to booking those conventions in 2011," Hicks said Thursday. "They plan a little bit further out than your typical wedding or event planner."
Chris Faivre, spokesman for the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau, where Hicks' office will be housed in the meantime, referred questions about the dollar amount of the city's contract with Global Spectrum to Global Spectrum Regional Vice President Dean Dennis. Dennis did not immediately return a call for comment.
Even without a finished building, marketing needs to start immediately, Faivre said.
"Conventions plan years in advance," Faivre said. "You can't really start marketing the center too early."
Ashley Meeks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; (575) 541-5462
To see more of the Las Cruces Sun-News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.lcsun-news.com.
Copyright (c) 2009, Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email email@example.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.