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AdventGXtra Mar ’05

AdventGXtra

AdventGXtra is the monthly newsletter for the AdventGX team. Each month, look here for the latest information about new AdventGX projects and initiatives and learn about our newest AdventGX team members.

March 2005

:: AdventGX News
   :. AdventGX to Manage Texas Governor’s Tourism Ad Tracking System
   :. AdventGX Establishes Partnership with StarVision Technologies
   :. Team Makes Scouting Visit to Van Horn
:: Meetings/Presentations/Workshops
   :. Skadberg Invited to Speak at Iowa Tourism Conference
   :. Team Members Participate in Border Governor’s Conference
   :. Andy Skadberg Speaks to Texas Association of Museums
AdventGX News
AdventGX to Manage Texas Governor’s Tourism Ad Tracking System
AdventGX was recently awarded the contract to maintain the Texas Advertisement Tracking Database and Reporting System for the Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism. AdventGX will design, build, host and administer the database, provide a web-based user interface, conduct market analysis and report findings. This high profile project solidifies AdventGX’s position as a lead provider of tourism technology products and support in Texas and will serve as a springboard to similar opportunities throughout the U.S. and internationally.
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AdventGX Establishes Partnership with StarVision Technologies
AdventGX recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with StarVision Technologies, a College Station based high tech start-up that is producing intelligent vision technologies with broad application to the tourism industry. StarVision and AdventGX have agreed to jointly engage in the development of novel technologies in the areas of Visitor Characterization & Metrics, Visitor Origin, Special Events, crowd flow analysis at special events, visitation measuring and facilities usage metrics, and Space tourism.
 
Team Makes Scouting Visit to Van Horn
Jose Quintana, Andy Skadberg and Joan Tatge traveled to Van Horn, Texas for a scouting trip in anticipation of the upcoming workshops that will formally launch our Van Horn Economic Development project. The team enjoyed the hospitality of Economic Development Corporation CEO Jeff McCoy who shared valuable insights into the project. Van Horn is nestled in a beautiful far-West Texas valley. The town has a rich history and beautiful natural resources.
 

Meetings/Presentations/Workshops
Skadberg Invited to Speak at Iowa Tourism Conference
Andy Skadberg has been invited by the Iowa Department of Economic Development to speak at their October conference. Andy will present on “Successful Community Tourism Development” in two break-out sessions during the conference on October 24th.
 
Team Members Participate in Border Governor’s Conference
AdventGX team members participated in the 2005 Border Governor’s Conference on March 15. Executive Advisory Board member Rosy Saenz-Padilla hosted the Mexican delegates attending the conference, while Andy Skadberg and Joan Tatge both participated in the one day event. The team made great contacts with representatives of Mexican border states and will be following up on prospective relationships.
 
Andy Skadberg Speaks to Texas Association of Museums
Andy Skadberg was one of three panelists who addressed participants at the annual meeting of the Texas Association of Museums on March 30th in Dallas. The panel discussed the Texas Commission on the Arts’ new statewide Craft Initiative designed to support cultural tourism and economic development opportunities for rural communities and the artisans. Andy was joined on the discussion panel by Jim Bob McMillan, Director of Administration and Community Development, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Janie Headrick, State Coordinator, Texas Trails Program, Texas Historical Commission. The panel was chaired by Ann Lancaster, Executive Director, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

AdventGXtra Feb’ 05

AdventGXtra

AdventGXtra is the monthly newsletter for the AdventGX team. Each month, look here for the latest information about new AdventGX projects and initiatives and learn about our newest AdventGX team members.

February 2005

:: AdventGX News
   :. Van Horn Project to Kick Off Soon
   :. X-Bar Ranch Featured in Texas Highways
   :. Lauren and Erin’s Travel Adventures Now Online
   :. Travel By Road International Summit Coming Soon
:: Meetings/Presentations/Workshops
   :. Texas Education Vacation, Rediscover Texas Featured at TTIA’s Unity Dinner
   :. Skadberg, Meador Participates in A&M’s Nature Tourism Banner Program
AdventGX News
Van Horn Project to Kick Off Soon
The Van Horn Economic Development Corporation recently informed AdventGX of plans to contract for our economic and tourism development services in support of the Far West Texas region. AdventGX will develop a comprehensive master plan for Van Horn, Texas involving the merging of numerous past planning studies, innovative concepts and existing initiatives. Once contract documents are formalized, the project is expected to kick off quickly with the first ASD workshop expected to take place in March.
 
X-Bar Ranch Featured in Texas Highways
EAB member Stan Meador’s X-Bar Ranch is featured in the February 2005 edition of Texas Highways magazine. The four-page feature presents beautiful photos of the 7,100 acre ranch that beckons ecotourists, hikers, mountain bikers and star gazers to make an escape from the ordinary.
 
Lauren and Erin’s Travel Adventures Now Online
Municipalities and attractions now have a new online promotion tool that captures travel experiences in an engaging virtual travel journal. Lauren and Erin’s Travel Adventures combine the Wyatt sisters’ creative zeal and fun loving perspective in an entertaining and insightful web site that is sure to draw attention online as a powerful promotional tool.The College Station Adventure features stops at the George Bush Presidential Library, the Children’s Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Corps of Cadets Museum. The virtual journal of Austin features the Capital Building, Texas History Museum, Zilker Park and the Nature and Science Center. Check it out online at: http://www.adventgx.com/laurenwyatt/.
 
Travel By Road International Summit Coming Soon
AdventGX will host the first Travel By Road International Summit in College Station later this year. The conference will focus on issues and opportunities facing industries serving business and leisure travelers. Watch for more information on this exciting upcoming international event brought to you by AdventGX.
Meetings/Presentations/Workshops
Texas Education Vacation, Rediscover Texas Featured at TTIA’s Unity Dinner
Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Andy Skadberg presented the Texas Education Vacation and Rediscover Texas programs as part of the Texas Travel Industry Association’s Unity Dinner program. AdventGX developed the Texas Education Vacation program on behalf of TTIA and the program was formally announced during the dinner which was attended by some 1,100 representatives of the travel industry in Texas. AdventGX also developed the online media kit for the Rediscover Texas campaign, enabling participants to browse media buying options and make advertising reservations online.
 
Skadberg, Meador Participates in A&M’s Nature Tourism Banner Program
AdventGX EAB member Stan Meador hosted and Chief Knowledge Officer Andy Skadberg participated in the first of a series of workshops that are rolling out under the Texas Cooperative Extension’s Nature Tourism Banner Program. The first workshop was held in Eldorado, Texas and was attended by representatives from Texas Farm Bureau, small business land owners and a large ranch owned by Riata Energies. Guiding business owner Pete Szilagyi (writer for the Austin American Statesman), and Jeff McCoy with the Van Horn EDC also participated. Board member Dr. Carson Watt has provided guidance to the Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences Dept. for developing the program and future collaborations with AdventGX.

AdventGXtra Jan ’05

AdventGXtra

AdventGXtra is the monthly newsletter for the AdventGX team. Each month, look here for the latest information about new AdventGX projects and initiatives and learn about our newest AdventGX team members.

January 2005

:: Meetings/Presentations/Workshops
   :. Texas Education Vacation Web Portal Demonstrated to TTIA
   :. AdventGX to attend Unity Dinner, Showcase Projects
:: Projects
   :. AdventGX Develops Rediscover Texas Online Media Kit
   :. AdventGX.com Enhancements Now Online
   :. Coach Connect Reservation System Winning Praise
   :. Lauren and Erin Wyatt Helping Launch Travel Showcase
:: Team News
   :. New EAB Members
   :. Joan Tatge Launches Communications Services Division
Meetings/Presentations/Workshops
Texas Education Vacation Web Portal Demonstrated to TTIA
Dr. Skadberg recently traveled to McAllen, TX to demonstrate the Texas Education Vacation web portal to the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA) Board of Directors. Shortly thereafter TTIA presented the project in Fort Worth, inviting the community associated with TTIA Board Chair Elect Dr. Douglas Harmon to showcase their educational venues.
 
AdventGX to attend Unity Dinner, Showcase Projects
On February 14, the AdventGX team will be in Austin attending the Unity Dinner and showcasing the Rediscover Texas and Texas Education Vacation projects. “For the Love of Texas,” the annual Unity Dinner is an opportunity for the Texas travel industry to demonstrate to legislators the importance, contribution and impact of the industry. Many legislators are expected to attend, including Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. At the event, AdventGX will present an upgraded Rediscover Texas Campaign and celebrate the official unveiling of the Texas Education Vacation project.
Projects
AdventGX Develops Rediscover Texas Online Media Kit
AdventGX recently completed the online media kit to promote the Texas Tourism Industry Association’s (TTIA) Rediscover Texas Campaign. As part of the campaign, TTIA has partnered with Clear Channel to offer TTIA members exclusive discounted advertising rates. The goal of Rediscover Texas is to raise awareness of the numerous travel opportunities within the state while showcasing Texas destinations. The campaign will run April 1 – May 15, 2005 and will include Public Service Announcements and giveaways on all Clear Channel stations. AdventGX recently launched the site which can be viewed at http://www.rediscovertexas.org/mediakit.
 
AdventGX.com Enhancements Now Online
AdventGX recently launched the new, enhanced AdventGX.com. Log on to see fresh content including this monthly newsletter, new additions to the AdventGX team and more. Please visit the site at www.AdventGX.com and let us know if you have any comments or recommendations for improvements.
 
Coach Connect Reservation System Winning Praise
In December we announced the deployment of Coach Connect’s world class reservation system at Palm Creek Resort. Since then the AdventGX developed reservation system has been gaining notoriety. Coach Connect’s premier client, Diversified Investments (DI), has added an additional eight sites to the original order for five customized reservation systems, bringing the total number ordered to thirteen.
 
Lauren and Erin Wyatt Helping Launch Travel Showcase
Erin and Lauren Wyatt (daughters of the esteemed Dr. Wyatt, CEO of Food Horizon) traveled to Texas from California this month to help create a new virtual travel journal for AdventGX. Dr. Skadberg hosted the talented duo as they toured educational venues in College Station and Austin, documenting each stop along the way. Erin and Lauren bring fresh creativity and insightful perspective that is certain to result in an engaging new product. Watch for an upcoming showcase of this exciting new online experience.
Team News
New EAB Members
Chris Brown, Homeland Security Technologies, Inc.
Sandra Duran, Representing City of Matamoras
Warren Evans, Texas A&M University
Nancy Millar, McAllen Convention and Visitors Bureau
Rosie Saenz-Zambrano, Texas A&M University
Joan Tatge Launches Communications Services Division
AdventGX is now offering comprehensive marketing communications services. Our newest member of the executive team, Joan Tatge is directing the Communications Services Division, supporting in-house and contract marketing communications, business development, public relations and proposal development. Joan Tatge brings to AGX broad communications experience, including technical communications and marketing of advanced and emerging technologies, government and nonprofit communications and higher education media initiatives. An accomplished grant writer, she has served as project manager and business developer for large federal technology research programs and has provided consulting services particularly focusing on SBIR grants. Before joining AdventGX, Joan was Director of Communications for The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University, where she was also editor of Texas Aggie magazine.

AdventGXtra Dec ’04

AdventGXtra

AdventGXtra is the monthly newsletter for the AdventGX team. Each month, look here for the latest information about new AdventGX projects and initiatives and learn about our newest AdventGX team members.

:: Initiatives
   :. Mexico Tourism Board
   :. Identifying Potential Showcase Communities
   :. US/Mexico Travel and Tourism Data Improvement Initiative
:: Projects
   :. Coach Connect Launches First WiFi Enabled Rest Area in Texas
   :. Texas Education Vacation Strategy Deployment Workshop
   :. World Class Reservation System Deployed
:: Team News
   :. Andy Skadberg and Travis Nance Join AGX Full Time
   :. Dr. Rick Giardino Joins Board of Directors
   :. New Executive Advisory Board Members
Initiatives
Mexico Tourism Board
AdventGX is in discussion with the Mexico Tourism Board about possible collaboration with AdventGX to support Mexico’s recently restructured tourism development model. A number of meetings are scheduled for the coming months to discuss possible engagements and determine plans for moving forward.
Identifying Potential Showcase Communities
We continue to identify possible showcase communities for the AdventGX tourism development model. Among the emerging possibilities are Brownsville, TX; Marshall, TX; Uvalde, TX; Van Horn, TX; Parral Chihuahua; and Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
US/Mexico Travel and Tourism Data Improvement Initiative
AdventGX was invited to participate in the US/Mexico Travel and Tourism Data Improvement Initiative at the beginning of August. Dr. Joe O’Leary, head of Texas A&M’s department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism Sciences, hosted the event aimed at identifying and resolving data gaps in travel and tourism flows between the U.S. and Mexico. A select number of participants attended, including Helen N. Marano, director, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration – U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Jose Casa, General Director of Information and Analysis for SECTUR, headed the group of Mexican officials. AdventGX was fortunate to be the only private sector participant.
Projects
Coach Connect Launches First WiFi Enabled Rest Area in Texas
On November 29, Coach Connect officially launched the Road Connect program, offering WiFi at the Medina County Safety Rest area near San Antonio. Medina County is the first of more than 100 safety rest areas throughout Texas that Coach Connect will equip with WiFi Internet capability under contract with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Coach Connect’s experience with WiFi installation, and AdventGX online information technology tools combined for a winning project that will leverage wireless internet to provide traveler information, and local community tourism promotion to highway travelers. This new offering from Coach Connect, called Road Connect, is an exciting public private partnership debuting in Texas, and other states are already expressing interest in similar programs. During the coming weeks, AdventGX and Coach Connect will focus on procuring sponsors to offset the costs of the wireless installations and information systems.
Texas Education Vacation Strategy Deployment Workshop
September 23-24 AdventGX hosted the AdventGX Strategy Deployment workshop for the Texas Education Vacation program. Partially Funded by the Texas Education Agency, and commissioned by the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA), Texas Education Vacation will establish a central clearinghouse of educational venues in Texas and make them available to children and their families as they travel the state of Texas. The program will involve development of venues, web portals, searchable databases and much more. The workshop proved very fruitful, as participants established a complete matrix of project stakeholders and tasks and set priorities for moving forward. Carson Watt, Andy Skadberg and Jose Quintana participated in the workshop along with TTIA’s Paul Serff, Erin Kerley and David Teel.
World Class Reservation System Deployed
AdventGX recently developed and deployed the top online RV registration management and point of sale system in the nation. This new Coach Connect product was first installed at Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ. Palm Creek currently boasts 2,000 sites, and will have 2,500 by year’s end, making it the largest resort of its kind in the world. Interest in the reservation system has been tremendous, putting AGX on track to deploy a customized version of the system at five sites for Coach Connect’s premier client Diversified Investments by the end of January 2005.
Team News
Andy Skadberg and Travis Nance Join AGX Full Time
Andy Skadberg came on board full time on November 1st as Chief Knowledge Officer. He comes to AdventGX from Texas A&M University’s Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences Department, where he remains an adjunct faculty member. In the department he worked to expand and develop nature tourism resources and leverage the Web as a program delivery tool. In his role as Chief Knowledge Officer, Andy will oversee a number of projects, including our Road Connect effort with Coach Connect, the Texas Education Vacation program and other emerging initiatives.Travis Nance also recently joined the AGX team as Director, Special Projects Division. Prior to joining AdventGX he was a Corporate Recruiter and liaison to Texas A&M University for Universal Computer Systems. He has also worked with Westcar Consulting Group and with Texas A&M’s 12th Man Foundation. As Director of Special Projects, Travis will help guide fundraising, marketing, prospecting and business development initiatives.
Dr. Rick Giardino Joins Board of Directors
Texas A&M University’s Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Rick Giardino recently joined the Board of Directors. Dr. Giardino is also the founder of Camp Planet Earth®, an academic outward bound-type of environmental camp for middle and junior high minority students. His professional career has focused on studying the changing surface of Earth through extensive field work and the use of satellite imagery and GIS. His experiences range from the Canadian and European arctic to the tropical regions of Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia and the arid regions of the Middle East. Through his research he has been involved in the search for Columbus’s caravels in Jamaica, studies of rainforest deforestation in Sumatra, and sustainability of national parks in Africa.
New Executive Advisory Board Members
Craig Tutor of Oregon Travel Information Counsel, Patrick McMillan of Toxey/McMillan Design Associates, Linda Smarzik of Austin Community College Craig Tutor of Oregon Travel Information Counsel
Patrick McMillan of Toxey/McMillan Design Associates
Linda Smarzik of Austin Community College
Patrick McMillan of Toxey/McMillan Design Associates
Linda Smarzik of Austin Community College