Mayor Brown and President Iannuzzi
ALBANY, N.Y. October 6, 2009 - New York State United Teachers, based on an overwhelming, enthusiastic reaction from its members, today announced it would bring its major policy-making convention - and some 2,500 visitors - back to Buffalo in Spring 2012.
"When we were here in April, the whole city - under Mayor Byron Brown's leadership - threw open its arms to NYSUT. The Queen City treated our members regally," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "The mayor, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and local restaurants and businesses, did everything in their power to make NYSUT delegates feel welcome. We had a very productive week and are thrilled to be coming back and contributing to the resurgence of Buffalo and Western New York."
"I'm very pleased the New York State United Teachers has committed to returning to Buffalo in 2012 for its annual policy-making convention," said Mayor Brown. "I'm especially pleased that NYSUT's 2,500 delegates had such a positive experience here this past April during their 2009 convention and that they responded so favorably to our city's hospitality. Our reputation as the 'City of Good Neighbors' was clearly demonstrated to our out-of-town guests and we look forward to welcoming them again in 2012."
"The Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau, on behalf of the entire hospitality industry in Western New York, is thrilled to have New York State United Teachers back in Buffalo in 2012," said Drew Cerza, CVB Interim President and CEO. "During NYSUT's recent convention in Buffalo, our staff, partners and volunteers made every effort to ensure that NYSUT experienced a genuine City of Good Neighbors welcome. We intend to raise the bar once again in 2012 and do everything in our power to make that event as productive and pleasurable as possible for convention delegates."
In April, delegates to the 605,000-member union's Representative Assembly filled hotel rooms and enjoyed the best of what the Buffalo-Niagara region has to offer. NYSUT estimated its four-day convention, which included a day-long meeting for hundreds of local union presidents, had an estimated economic impact of $3.5 million on the city, based on average spending of $815 per person on food, lodging, entertainment and transportation, as well as the "spin-off' effect of businesses meeting additional demand.
Iannuzzi is interviewed about NYSUT's economic impact on the city of Buffalo. Photo by Deb Ward.
NYSUT delegates fully booked 11 hotel properties in and around Buffalo for nearly 4,000 "room nights" at an average of $150 per night, Iannuzzi said. In addition, NYSUT sent delegates out to the Chippewa Street entertainment district for food and entertainment.
Delegates reported they loved Buffalo. Ninety-nine percent of 963 delegates surveyed said they felt welcomed by the city, and 90 percent reported they were satisfied with their hotel accommodations.
Because of the large size of its convention, NYSUT books space in competing cities several years in advance. The 2010 Representative Assembly will be in Washington, D.C., while the 2011 convention will be held in New York City, Iannuzzi said.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers; National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.