One of the biggest annual expos in Houston contributes is expected to contribute $17 million to the local economy this year, according to new projections.
Now in its 20th year the twice-annual NAPE Expo is forecasted to bring $17 million in spending, with $2 million coming from the group's summer event and $15 million from the winter expo. NAPE is the world's largest upstream energy and petroleum expo. The Summer Expo is slated for August 22-24, 2012 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
"NAPE is such a strong asset to Houston's economy," said Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Twice a year, thousands of oil and gas professionals spend several days in our city--validating Houston's position as the Energy Capital of the World. This summer alone, we anticipate NAPE will bring more than $2.1 million to the local economy, and we appreciate their commitment to Houston."
Summer NAPE is the smaller of the two annual expos and is expected to draw more than 5,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors including producing properties and prospects from across the U.S. and around the world, capital formation and services and technologies.
Created by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) as the North American Prospect Expo and held in 1993 at the Westin Galleria hotel ballroom, the first NAPE had 80 booths and 800 attendees. In 1995 the Independent Petroleum Association of America was added as a partner, and in 2004 the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and American Association of Petroleum Geologists also joined as partners. The following year the first Summer NAPE was held.
Good news for bicycle-loving Houstonians: The Department of Transportation recently awarded the city a $15-million TIGER Grant to improve and expand H-Town’s trails and bikeways. More than 18 miles of hike and bike trails, sidewalks and on-street bikeways are being added or enhanced, helping link Northside Village, Fifth Ward and Third Ward to Downtown, Midtown and the Medical Center.
Joined by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, U.S. Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Gene Green, Mayor Annise Parker was presented the grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation on June 22, as Houston was among 47 winners out of the 703 applicants from around the country.
Off-street paths, such as the McKee Street path in the Heights that forces bikers to come to an ungracious halt during their rides, will soon have connections to other trails, bus stops and the light rail, while sidewalks and roadway bike lanes will be widened. When the 18-mile project is complete, more Houstonians will be able to commute to work, appointments and run errands with ease.
The project will focus on six different connections linking between various Houston areas and neighborhoods, including Downtown, Midtown, Fifth Ward, Third Ward, Northside Village and even the Medical Center.
While the grant will only cover half of the funds, the remaining $15 million will be achieved through the financial support of the local government and private funds. The more trails that are offered and available, the easier it will be for residents within the city as well as visitors to access more desired destinations than they would using a car.
A country brothel in rural Texas may not seem like the best fodder for a musical. But anyone who has seen the stage or film productions of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" knows it's the stuff of legend.
Based on the true story of the Chicken Ranch that once operated in LaGrange, "Whorehouse" is a romping, upbeat and colorful homage to Texas culture, in all its glory and infamy. The story is set in the 1970s when Miss Mona Stangley is the proprietor of the Chicken Ranch, a brothel that has operated peacefully for decades. Miss Mona takes care of her girls and maintains a good relationship with the community and Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd. But when a camera loving investigative reporter exposes the Chicken Ranch on TV, all heck breaks loose.
The musical written by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson originally appeared on Broadway in June 1978. It ran for more than 1,500 performances and won two Tony Awards. The much-lauded film version starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds was released in 1982. It received several Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
Fans of the film who haven't seen the stage version before will miss a couple songs that appeared there but will be happy to have a few others in their place, particularly Bus from Amarillo and Girl, You're a Woman. Michelle Dejean is elegant and sassy as Miss Mona, with a voice that carries the music of composer Carol Hall beautifully. Another scene stealer is Tamara Siler as the Chicken Ranch's mama hen Jewel, who sings a great version of 24 Hours of Lovin'.
The show runs through June 17. Click here for more info and tickets.
Megabus.com is launching new service in Texas and the Southern U.S. with daily departures and arrivals between Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and other cities.
Megabus.com began taking reservations this week for service beginning June 19. Fares start as low as $1 each way. Adding to the attractiveness of the service is the fact that each double-decker bus is equipped with free wireless Internet, power outlets and restrooms.
In Houston, the company will have buses arriving and departing regularly from 815 Pierce, across Travis from Metro's Downtown Transit Center.
"We are excited to land yet another transportation option for people visiting our area," says Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The more ways people are able to get to Houston, the greater our potential for success."
The vast majority of leisure and business travelers to Houston come from elsewhere in Texas--particularly the three other major cities. "Connecting these metropolitan areas provides these travelers another low-cost means of getting to Houston," Ortale says. "What's more, the high-tech capabilities of these buses is something we will be able to utilize in our promotions."
Megabus.com, a subsidiary of Coach USA, launched in April 2006 and is one of the largest intercity express bus service providers in North America, transporting more than 18 million travelers.