Travel vets launch meetings firm
Two veterans of selling northern Nevada to visitors have joined forces to create a company that provides lodging and other services to companies and groups that are planning conventions.
CS Meetings Direct is a joint venture of Rick Chapman, who previously worked with the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, and Sean Schaeffer, owner of SilverVoyages.com, a Reno company that develops travel packages for visitors to the Reno-Tahoe area.
Chapman, who has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, said the new firm will contract with companies and associations to provide blocks of hotel rooms as well as other services such as catering and golf outings during conventions.
The company will work at destinations throughout the United States, although its preliminary focus will be on Reno, Tahoe and northern California.
“We want to bring as much business into this area as we can,” said Chapman, whose business is Rick Chapman & Associates.
Chapman said third-party vendors such as CS Meetings Direct are taking a greater role in the meetings and conventions business as corporations and associations tighten their belts in a slow economy.
The convention business relies heavily on face-to-face contacts, and Chapman said CS Meetings Direct will market itself through the connections he’s developed in his years in the travel business and through his involvement with industry associations.
SilverVoyages.com, which has a staff of 14, will provide administrative and logistical support for the projects that are landed by Chapman’s sales efforts.
SilverVoyages.com, started in 1999 by Sean and Morgan Schaeffer, works with 55 golf, ski transportation and resort operators to develop lodging-and-services packages. The company also owns SimpleTeeTimes.com, which handles reservations for golf courses in the region.
Along with his work at the Peppermill, Chapman’s experience includes senior sales executive positions with the Reno Hilton and Silver Legacy Resort. He also held sales positions with the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and was vice president of sales for the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau.
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