Myron Jones, CVB director of sales, discusses the city’s latest hospitality developments
For the past 19 years, Myron Jones has represented Fayetteville in the group-travel market, informing the planners of meetings, conventions, reunions, retreats and sports tournaments about all the city has to offer. Actually, Myron has been an ambassador for Fayetteville his entire life. He was born on Hay Street in Fayetteville’s historic downtown, attended the county’s public schools, and then spent ten years stationed nearby as a member of the U.S. Air Force before joining the Fayetteville Area CVB. In other words, nobody knows more about Fayetteville’s people and places than Myron.
In recent months, Myron has had a lot of good news about Fayetteville to share with group planners. For instance: Between October 2017 and October 2018, nearly 600 new hotel rooms will come on line, boosting the city’s total inventory of mid-scale and upscale guest rooms to about 6,000. The new units are from brands such as Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Homewood Suites and Springhill Inn & Suites.
Even beyond the hotel sector, though, Fayetteville has recently added other tourism-related elements that enhance the experience of any type of visiting group. First, there’s the ever-growing variety of restaurants located within the pedestrian-friendly historic downtown. This variety is due in large part to the international experiences of those who live and work at nearby Fort Bragg. As a result, “we have culinary offerings that range from Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese to African to Caribbean,” Myron notes. What’s more, five microbrewery restaurants have opened in town, adding to the classy-yet-comfortable ambiance of the Fayetteville dining scene.
To assist event attendees and their families in experiencing all the city has to offer, the CVB recently created more than a dozen themed “trails” that lead visitors to whichever attractions they might be interested in. So besides a microbrewery trail, there’s also a museum trail; a military trail; a house-of-worship trail; an African-American trail; a nature trail; and several others that can be found in the CVB’s visitor guide.
With athletic and religious groups among the strongest markets for Fayetteville, Myron makes sure that these event planners know about the deep relationship the CVB has with local hotels, restaurants, attractions and other suppliers. For instance, “we’re very focused on attracting youth sports tournaments because our destination can handle them so well,” he notes. “We’ve hosted many basketball, soccer, softball, wrestling and cheerleading groups because we have good relationships with our local schools and have access to their facilities.” And with the Crown Complex offering multiple event venues—including an arena for 10,800 spectators—both athletic and religious groups are easily accommodated.
Another element of Fayetteville that Myron touts is the easy accessibility of Fayetteville from the entire East Coast. The city is a half-day’s drive from Washington DC and also from Jacksonville, and its airport has direct flights to and from Washington DC, Charlotte and Atlanta.
Even with all the new development that Fayetteville has seen recently, the one constant that Myron emphasizes to group planners is the friendliness of the city’s inhabitants. “Many people come here to live for a short time because of Fort Bragg, so we’ve always known how to make folks feel welcome quickly,” he says. “Meeting and event groups who visit us will certainly feel that warmth.”