Santa Clara’s Chamber of Commerce has been on the move over the past six months. Starting with a new Interim Director in Nick Kasper, the Chamber is once again humming on all cylinders. Kasper has brought a new energy to an organization which has undergone a period of turmoil.
“The Chamber has a major role to play in our City,” said Kasper “I think we have a great history which we now need to build on. While we had some issues as many organizations do, the Chamber has weathered those, and we are stronger as a result.”
Santa Clara’s Chamber has been the Managing Partner of the Santa Clara Convention Center on behalf of the City since it was built.
Recently there was a misrepresentation when a consultant’s study was completed, which indicated the Convention Center was losing a million dollars a year. That turned out to be an error as Santa Clara’s Convention Center has actually been a money maker for years.
The error was discovered when it was noticed by Chamber staff that the study included not only the Convention Center budget but also the budget for the Convention Visitor Bureau (CVB). The CVB is a totally separate City marketing entity that is also managed by the Chamber.
The City does fund the CVB to market Santa Clara to both local and out of town corporate meeting planners, who bring visitors for conferences, trade shows, conventions and sales meetings. When the CVB books events for Santa Clara facilities, many of these include hotel rooms, meeting facilities, convention center rental, car rental and food services.
With 200 of the largest companies in the world headquartered in Silicon Valley, they are great clients for both the Convention Center and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Benefits to the city are realized through increased sales tax and transient occupancy tax. These CVB bookings and services last year returned over $1.35 million to the City in tax revenue. This was in addition to the $1.1 million made for the City by the Convention Center.