Embracing the colors and fun of Fiesta, LSA Class 42 spent last Wednesday learning about and visiting those spaces and places that bring millions of visitors to San Antonio annually. Following the theme of Come and Tour It, LSA 42 toured the San Antonio missions, sports venues, and community spaces and learned about the economic impact of those important San Antonio places.
Beginning at Mission San Jose, members of the class were briefed by City of San Antonio staff on the city’s journey in obtaining the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage designation for the San Antonio Missions. Collen Swain, City of San Antonio, elaborated on the process and projected economic impact of the additional visitors expected to come to San Antonio because of the designation. While there, members also heard from Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos who covered the economic benefits of having robust hospitality and tourism in the state of Texas. Highlighting the great work of San Antonio, Secretary Pablos remarked on the importance of continuing to improve and expand opportunities for increased employment opportunities in the hospitality industry, particularly in the area of management.
Following a tour of Mission San Jose, class members were able to enjoy the outdoors and visit one of San Antonio’s famed parks, Roosevelt Park. Xavier Urrutia, City of San Antonio Parks & Recreation Department, gave a historical perspective on the city’s development of its linear parks and how this vast system is connected. No park visit is complete without a few games, and our LSA members were able to enjoy some Fiesta fun in the sun!
Next on LSA’s tour of the city, members were able to have fun in the sun at Toyota Field. During their visit to the home of the San Antonio Futbol Club (SAFC), members heard from leaders in the sporting industry of San Antonio that included, Bobby Perez, San Antonio Sports and Entertainment; Russ Bookbinder, San Antonio Sports; Derrick Fox, Valero Alamo Bowl; and Tim Holt, SAFC.
LSA members finished their busy day with a visit to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. After exploring the latest renovations to the Convention Center, members listened to a panel of tourism experts, including: Mike Sawaya, City of San Antonio; Ashley Harris, Visit San Antonio; Becky Dinnin, the Alamo; and Marcos Barros, San Antonio Area Tourism Council.
For more information on Leadership San Antonio, please visit www.leadershipsa.org.