VIC responds to PNJ article

This email was sent to the partners of the Visitor Information Center & Convention Bureau. It’s a shame that one reunion fell through the cracks and 200 visitors will go to Mobile. However, Ed Schroeder and his group are rated that top VIC/CB in the Southeast and mistakes happen.

Dear Partners,

The Pensacola News Journal today printed a front-page article claiming the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau through carelessness lost the U.S.S. Lexington reunion to a more aggressive Mobile. The article stated we failed to provide meeting information even after the reunion organizer requested it on three occasions.

Obviously concerned about these allegations, yesterday I spoke at length with the reunion organizer. He was unable to recall who at the CVB he spoke with, when the contacts were made, or any other pertinent details. He also never visited the visitor’s center. I expressed my deepest regrets that the Lexington reunion was not coming to Pensacola and offered our full assistance to help maximize any portion of the reunion that is held in Pensacola.

Let me assure you our reunion and sales group, which helps book about fifty thousand room nights every year in the Pensacola area, has my full confidence and trust. They have helped create a group solicitation system whose superlative numbers speak for themselves. In that system every conversation we have with someone interested in planning a reunion or meeting is entered into our sales contact software. Our software contains thousands of entries representing hundreds of groups; these records are never deleted or altered, just updated as additional information is acquired.

Typically, had the Lexington reunion planner called for assistance, we would have first gotten his name, contact information and organization name and begun a file. We have thoroughly searched all of our records and have not located a single entry on the Lexington reunion, the planner or any other aspect of the association. I have also personally interviewed all staff that might have spoken with the reunion planner and none has any recollection of talking with him.

Of course it is possible we somehow made a mistake and skipped every control in place to keep something like this from happening. But if that had happened, I am sure there would be some evidence of our mistake and honestly I can find none whatsoever.

We at the CVB are not perfect. When a mistake is made we admit it, determine why it happened and take immediate corrective action to make sure a similar mistake does not occur. In light of the allegations made, I am performing a top-to-bottom evaluation of our sales system. We want it to be as perfect as we can humanly make it.

If any of you would like to talk more about this, please call me at 434-1234.

Thanks for your continuing support,


Ed Schroeder | Vice President Tourism Development
Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
1401 E Gregory St | Pensacola | FL | 32502
p: 800-874-1234 | p 850-434-1234 | f 850-432-8211 |