As mentioned earlier, there was a press conference yesterday out at the international terminal at DFW to announce “an unprecedented, national and international perception-changing initiative” from the CVBs of Dallas and Fort Worth. You can read a sober account of what happened here. But more entertaining is this report from Gable Vines, one of our interns, who was dispatched to cover the Big News. Note the use of third person:
My First Press Conference
By Gable Vines
After 40 minutes of driving to the airport then wandering around an unfinished terminal with pedophiles in hardhats pausing their jackhammering to mutter disgusting pickup lines directed at what I’m sure was the most awkward sight of the day, Gable Vines, in her metallic gold wedges and edgy hair, attempted to fit in with the conventional reporters and government officials.
What “an unprecedented, national, and international perception-changing initiative” that was. I mean, thanks to Tim for allowing me to partake in such an event. After a lovely spread of fruit and muffins, we were briefed on quite possibly the most amazing collaboration in the history of the world. The merger of two of the most powerful forces in society today. The ushering in of a new era. The synergy that will spur the greatest tourism destination on the globe. How lucky I was to be there.
Thankfully, we have a really solid slogan (“Visit Dallas/Fort Worth”), an especially insightful theme (“Visitors don’t care about city boundaries”), and a really great new scribble scrabble logo symbolizing the push for DFW to be considered a singular destination. This Dallas-Fort Worth pep rally reminded everyone about the facts we’ve all heard a million times: if you put Dallas and FW together, you have the number one tourism destination in Texas, but if considered separately, we are only numbers 2 and 3, behind San Antonio. We have more restaurants per capita than any other city including NYC. If you put all the art that Dallas and Fort Worth posses together, you have as much art as any of the top 5 cities in any country. Here are some other items of interest from the press conference:
–They are attempting to raise $5 million for their campaign, with the help from smaller cities like Irving, Grapevine, etc. So far, Dallas has contributed $250,000 and Fort worth $225,000.
–Several corny jokes from Douglas Harman about how Phillip Jones arm isn’t in a sling anymore after his cycling accident received uncomfortable courtesy laughs from all in attendance.
–Our tax dollars have been funding our mayors’ travels across the world to Argentina, London, and San Diego, announcing the joining together of our two cities.
–Hilarious: Laura Miller opened her speech with 5 facts about Dallas/FW. After accidentally saying “Fact # 3” twice and realizing it once she looked down at her notes for “Fact # 5,” she studdered slightly and I could read her mind: “Crap, should I say ‘fact # 4’ although I already said that fact or should I skip to ‘fact # 5’ and then feel awkward that I never said 4?” She went with, “Finally …”
–There is a HUGE 30-foot sculpture of a wishbone sitting in the middle of the North ticketing area. Everyone looked at it and pleasantly “ahhhhh”-ed when Douglas Harman pointed to it. Not quite sure why.
–A couple of times I was embarrassed for Fort Worth’s Wendy Davis, probably the hottest city council member ever, when she kept saying that we are the best tourism destination in the United States. She redeemed herself with big words like “synergy.”
–Phillip Jones reminded us that the first media push will concentrate on the arts and cultural attributes that DFW can offer. The next phase will concentrate more on family opportunities, similar to what Las Vegas, Nevada has recently done.
–In the question and answer session, I asked, “Why couldn’t we hear from Mayor Mike Moncreif today?” and FW CVB president Douglas Harman answered, “Uh, oh, I can’t say … scheduling … he’s a very busy man.” Then, the longest most awkward silence I’ve ever felt. I still am not sure whether the silence meant “We were all wondering that exact same thing and we acknowledge that answer was really shady” or “You stupid girl, I can’t believe you asked that question.”