An Update from the Chamber’s Tourism Division

February 10, 2023Robert Lopez, Vice President of Abilene's Convention & Visitors Bureau

Dear friends and partners,

Wow, what a journey it’s been since I joined the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau as its new Vice President last March. It’s truly been an honor to join an organization that’s already made great strides and to have the opportunity to build upon that success. My goal since day one has been to keep the momentum going, but also to explore new and innovative ways to take us to new heights. I am thrilled to share some of the things we’ve been working on at the ACVB since my arrival and the exciting new initiatives we have in store.

It’s amazing to see the transformation taking place in Abilene right now. The addition of the DoubleTree Downtown Convention Center Hotel, set to open its doors this June, is a testament to the growth and progress of our city. And with the exciting renovations happening at the Convention Center, along with the plans to revitalize the Downtown Cultural District, there’s no denying that Abilene is becoming a true destination for travelers. I feel so grateful to be part of this exciting time in Abilene’s history, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

During my first three months with ACVB, I made it a priority to connect with and learn from the amazing individuals who make up this community. I had the privilege of meeting with stakeholders, board members, and community leaders, taking the time to really listen to their perspectives and thoughts. This interaction helped guide us in creating our plans for the future, focusing on three key areas: brand awareness, group sales, and collaboration.

To help raise awareness about Abilene, we recently completed a rebranding project. We came up with a visual identity, logo, and a statement that sums up what Abilene is all about, called the “Destination Promise”. It reads:

“Abilene represents the frontier spirit by honoring its heritage while embracing the future. Its storied past gives rise to a charming and flourishing historic Downtown Cultural District with educational museums, urban parks, and a public art scene featuring an unrivaled collection of storybook sculptures. Abilene’s authentic, welcoming sense of community and Texas traditions make for enriching experiences that create lifelong memories for visitors.”

We’re proud to introduce our new brand identity, which was created with input from the community and perfectly captures Abilene’s unique spirit. Our “Destination Promise” outlines the key audience, tangible and emotional benefits, and what sets Abilene apart from other destinations.

With a goal to strengthen our efforts, we’ve made some exciting changes to our team. We were thrilled to welcome David Waller as our Communications Director last May and have partnered with Zachry & Associates to help elevate our marketing and advertising efforts. Taking a step back from our current advertising, we made a bold move to focus our attention on rebranding efforts. We firmly believe that true marketing success comes from having a solid brand identity at its core.

To ensure our efforts are as effective as possible, we’re utilizing a data-driven approach through a new data intelligence platform, giving us the ability to make smart, informed decisions with our advertising budget.

We proudly introduced “Authentically Abilene” as our brand awareness campaign in January 2023. This simple yet impactful slogan showcases the true, original charm that Abilene holds and invites visitors to dive into authentic, enriching experiences that embody the city’s heritage and culture.

Our aim with the campaign is to shine a spotlight on the unique and authentic charm of our city, inviting visitors to experience its rich heritage and culture. We aspire to not only raise awareness and bolster positive perceptions of Abilene, but to also foster a sense of excitement and make it a top choice for travelers. We hope to cultivate a devoted community of supporters and repeat visitors, who will carry on the legacy of Abilene’s authentic spirit.

Our renewed focus on group sales has led us to invest in new resources for our sales team, including updated marketing materials, opportunities to attend trade shows and sales trips, and incentives for organizations to host their events in Abilene. With the recent addition of Courtney Eden to our sales staff, we have further strengthened our ability to drive sales and achieve our goals. We feel lucky to have Courtney on board, with her wealth of experience and passion for the industry. We have a great team on board striving to help us meet our goals. To reach out to them, click here.

It’s all about coming together at the ACVB. We truly believe that when we support each other, we all thrive. That’s why our motto is “Happy to help”. Our goal is to be a collaborative partner, not just with our tourism partners, but also within our own organization. By working together and being part of the solution, we can make Abilene an even more amazing destination. As a team, we are unstoppable!

What a year it has been for Abilene! We have so many exciting things to reflect on and even more to look forward to in the future. Every day we feel lucky to be a part of this thriving community, and we are truly grateful to be part of its growth and evolution. It’s an incredible time to be here, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this amazing city.

Thank you so much for being a part of the growth and success of Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau and the local tourism industry. Your support means the world to us, and it’s because of dedicated individuals like you that we can continue to promote and develop this beautiful city. We are truly grateful for your contributions and are honored to have you as an ally in our mission.


Robert Lopez


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