Green Seals The Deal For Centerplate At Niagara, GetTix Switches To Veritix

30 Jul

Rendering of the proposed Niagara Convention & Civic Center in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Venue: Niagara Convention & Civic Centre, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Concessionaire: Centerplate

Deal: Five years with a five-year renewal option, percentage-of-the-gross contract. There is no investment on Centerplate’s part.

Comments: Green was the color of the game when the private management company for the venue, Niagara Convention & Civic Centre selected Centerplate, said Kerry Painter, venue president and general manager. “Centerplate has a strong presence in the convention center industry and recognizes the needs of our conventioneers,” she said.

But most importantly, they grasped the culture of Niagara and the emphasis on green and locally grown. In fact, the convention center will have a Kitchen Garden located across the street on land donated by the monastery there. It will be designed by the university, which is combining its horticulture students with chef, kitchen and culinary students to come up with a kitchen garden that is sustainable.

Centerplate jumped on the idea, and enhanced it with its own programs, such as buying meat and produce within a 100-mile radius as much as possible and working with the 90 local wineries, she said.

The 280,000 sq. ft., $100 million convention center will open April 8, 2011, Painter said. It also includes a 1,000-seat theater. Centerplate will staff a cafe, a permanent concessions stand and lots of portables.

In the last six months, Painter has contracted most of the services, including AVW Telus for audio visual; Showtech for electric; and Strongco as decorator. On her list of outstanding items is a security firm. She hopes to have one on board in the next two or three months.

Interviewed for this story: Kerry Painter, (905) 357-6222

Company: GetTix.Net

New BackEnd Provider: Veritix

Changeover Date: Aug. 8.

Deal: Five years. Veritix will provide the backend platform for GetTix.net, a full service provider.

Comments: Veritix replaced Paciolan. Charlotte Allison, vice president of business development for GetTix.net, cited flexibility, including pick-a-seat rather than best-available technology, which flows over not only online but to kiosks, using the same type of environment, as reasons the company chose Veritix. “We actually have several clients interested in coming with GetTix and that was one element they wanted,” she said.

“Also, promotionally there is a lot of flexibility – you can up-sell. A new salesman can be selling for the first time in under five minutes because it is a Windows environment, point and click,” she said. “That’s what wowed us.”

Veritix President Jeff Kline said the regional ticketing business has been good to his company. Last year, the firm inked a deal with ArtTix, a Salt Lake City firm that powers the Utah Jazz basketball team.

“It’s good business for us. They have multiple locations and have the ability to grow their platform and expand their reach,” he said, later adding. “It’s a well known organization and takes advantage of the Veritix platform, so for us, it was a good fit.”

GetTix was founded in 2004 as an arm of Global Entertainment Corp. (GEC), a public company, which also manages venues under its Encore Facility Management arm; sells sponsorships (GEMS-Global Entertainment Marketing Systems); owns the Western Professional Hockey League, dba CHL (Central Hockey League); operates a construction arm, ICC (International Coliseums Company), and a food service, GEC Food Service, LLC.

Allison was brought in a year ago to secure additional ticketing contracts outside of Encore-managed buildings. GetTix has contracts with Encore-managed Allen (Texas) Events Center; Independence (Mo.) Center; and Tim’s Toyota Center, Prescott Valley, Ariz. They will also handle the Dodge City Events Center when it comes on line in February 2011. “We use the building as a hub and develop around that market. You build it as you go,” Allison said.

The newest client for GetTix.net is Brand.Live, a marketing firm out of Vancouver, B.C., which produces festivals. The new alliance brings Veritix its first international client, Allison said.

GetTix clients outside the GEC family include the Yavapai County Fairgrounds in Prescott Valley, Ariz.; the town of Addison, Texas; a promoter partner, Rozone Productions, in Austin; Austin Turf Cats of the Indoor Football League; Claremore (Okla.) Expo Center; El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, N.M.; Star Shuttle and Charter, Austin; Checkered Flag Productions; and Dodge City (Kan.) Raceway

Growth for GetTix.net is in the mid-size markets, Allison said, adding they are definitely expanding more in the venue space. “Canada is the great frontier.”

It took a year to do the deal with Veritix, she added. There were a lot of parameters to discuss, she said. — Linda Deckard

Interviewed for this story: Charlotte Allison, (214) 341-2495, Jeff Kline, (216) 466-8055

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