city was known as the “Wall Street of the
“Spouses love shopping on the Strand,”
said Heather Hidalgo, program adminis-
trator for the Texas Justice Court Training
Center (TJCTC), in Austin. “There is so
much to do all day long, which is perfect
for many of my attendees who bring their
Hidalgo also noted that Galveston offers
many great restaurants, especially seafood,
and many venues for after-hours activities.
Her attendees like to cut loose in the eve-
nings, enjoying the endless options on the
Boardwalk, Pleasure Pier and the Strand.
Another benefit for groups in Galveston
is the location of its facilities. Situated on
Galveston’s famed Seawall Boulevard, The
Galveston Island Convention Center at The
San Luis Resort’s oceanside location features 140,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 43,100-square-foot
exhibition hall, 15,500-square-foot grand
ballroom, 12,000 square feet of breakout
meeting space and 29,000 square feet of
Beachside access aside, the convention
center recently upgraded its network infrastructure, and planners like Lori Gracey,
executive director of the Austin-based
Texas Computer Education Association,
appreciated the enhancement.
“They have upgraded on par with, in fact
way above—in terms of the Internet—most
other convention centers,” she said. “Their
Internet service is fast and reliable, and
today with social media, having that access
is a key difference for our attendees.”
The cost of doing business in Galveston
is also appealing to planners.
“Pricing is incredibly reasonable,” Gracey said.
Dealing with educators with limited
budgets can be incredibly challenging, she
said, but added that the hotels in Galveston
are always willing to work with her to meet
her budget, many allowing three or four
adults with the same group to share rooms
without the usual added surcharges.
Heather Hidalgo’s groups, comprised
mostly of county employees, are also con-
strained by budget, but she has had great
success negotiating packages with hotels
such as The San Luis, especially for her F&B
component (including continuous coffee
and buffet lunches).
“They work with our budget and provide
fantastic F&B,” she said. “They’ll even
change the buffet theme every day for
lunches. And for breaks, instead of plain
old cookies, they get creative and provide
fun snacks such as ice-cream bars, popcorn
GALVESTON ISLAND CVB
THE STRAND HISTORIC DISTRICT