Dave Beachnau is the Detroit Metro CVB’s new vice president of sales, marketing and sports. That’s about all you can say is new about the Motor City veteran.
Beachnau has spent almost the last quarter-century promoting Detroit in various roles within the DMO. Most recently, he spent 15 years as executive director of the Detroit Sports Commission—a position he handed off to Kris Smith to facilitate the CVB’s transition.
An avid sports fan, Beachnau counts scoring the 2009 Final Four—at the height of Detroit’s financial problems—as his biggest accomplishment. He envisions carrying his game plan from sports over to the meetings and events side.
“The key is introducing customers to the city,” he says. “We’ve opened a lot of eyes on the sports side and I’d like to do more of that with conventions.”
As such, look for the CVB to offer more FAM trips and individual site visits. Beachnau knows Detroit is still overcoming perceptions from the Great Recession, now almost a decade removed. He also knows his hometown has an energy that can sell itself.
Chief among Detroit’s recent accomplishments is a $280 million renovation of Cobo Center. Coming soon is the completion of The District Detroit, a 50-block retail, dining and entertainment development. Already home to Ford Field and Comerica Park, The District will gain a third major sports venue this fall with Little Caesars Arena.