Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau anticipates events, travelers to return to the area

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - After struggling through the pandemic, things are looking up for the Springfield’s Convention and Visitors Bureau {CVB). Travelers and events are starting to return to the Ozarks, with caution.

“Had you asked me if we were going to be where we are at today a year ago, I would have absolutely laughed at you,” said Convention and Visitors Bureau President Tracy Kimberlin.

Kimberlin said the warmer weather has an impact on travel.

”Especially after what we have been through, we went through the pandemic where we were all cooped up in our houses for a better part of the year and here recently we had all of this god-awful weather that made it even worse,” he said. “Now yesterday, 70 degrees, the golf courses are looking pretty good. “

The CVB is preparing a campaign to lure even more travelers to Springfield.

”If people will come to Springfield, spend at least two nights in a hotel, go to at least three attractions and have meals at at least three restaurants we will buy one of their nights in the hotel,” Kimberlin said.

The group will do that for the first 3,000 travel parties. Kimberlin said this campaign isn’t financially going to help the agency itself, but will help bring in more people and their spending cash.

”We’re doing that in order to try to jump start the travel economy, again when the time is right, but we hope late spring, early summer,” Kimberlin said.

In 2020, the National Christian Homeschool basketball championship was canceled due to the pandemic along with a portion of the state basketball championship.

”We’ve been a full year since that occurred, and they are coming back,” Kimberlin said. “They do expect to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 250-300 teams. The state basketball championships last year, they played the first weekend and canceled the second weekend and they are planning on coming back with both weekends.”

Until the pandemic subsides, Kimberlin said those events will have capacity restrictions, and must follow COVID-19 guidelines.

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