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Destination Development 101: Planning, Analysis, Funding and Execution

5 (1 vote)

Recorded On: 05/08/2024

Destination organizations have long been focused on selling the destination, but many are realizing that leading destination development efforts is not only appropriate, but also a key responsibility, and is crucial to the long-term survival of the organization and industry. Through the development of creative funding tools like TBIDs and other funding streams, destination organizations have found ways to generate, collect and spend attractive amounts of funding for marketing their destinations. However, two converging realities are occurring that require destination organizations to think more broadly about their mission. Join us as we dive into these current realities and their implications, plus share how destination organizations can lead their placemaking efforts from A to Z via best practices.  

Presented by Hunden Partners, MMGY NextFactor, and Civitas as part of Destinations International's Resilience, Stability and Growth Series for 2024. 

Please note that attendance at a Destinations International webinar is eligible for one (1) CDME Continuing Education (CE) credit. Credit can only be earned through live virtual attendance. Watching recorded webinars does not count toward CDME CE credit.

Rob Hunden

President & CEO

Hunden Partners

For nearly 30 years, Rob has provided advisory, economic development, finance, and planning expertise for more than 1,000 project studies and processes, focusing on tourism-oriented placemaking plans, market and financial feasibility, economic impact analyses, and development advisory services. Rob brings seasoned expertise to guide DMOs and other clients to successful outcomes. Areas of specialty include sports facilities and entertainment districts, convention centers, hotels, attractions, major events and arts & entertainment facilities.

Distinguished by his synthesis of critical analytics with placemaking best practices, Rob has had a hand in the development of more than $20 billion of projects, including the Kansas City Power & Light District, Indy Eleven Park, T-Mobile District in San Juan, the Gateway District on KU’s campus, Dallas Convention Center district, and many others. Hunden’s guidance and expertise is not limited to completing studies; it's about shaping and executing destinations, such as the Fort Worth Stockyards, Milwaukee’s Deer District, the Chicago Riverwalk and Navy Pier.

Rob teaches college and professional development courses, sits on the advisory board for the Center for Real Estate Studies at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business – where he recently received the Jeffrey D. Fisher Legacy Award; and authors articles on placemaking development, financing and execution strategies. Hunden is a Partner Level organization of Destinations International, and Rob is a member and speaker for more than a dozen industry associations.

Recognized for his commitment to authentic, sustainable and impactful development, Rob is a key figure in shaping the future of destination real estate and tourism.

Cassandra McAuley

Managing Director, NextFactor

MMGY NextFactor

With over a decade of experience in the tourism industry, Cassandra is an enthusiastic advocate for the visitor and experience economies and the people who contribute to them. As Managing Director of MMGY NextFactor, Cassandra and her team work with destination organizations to build aligned, sustainable and prosperous communities through the transformative power of travel.

With a master's degree in organizational change and leadership, Cassandra possesses a deep understanding of the intricacies of driving positive change within organizations. She’s also earned a professional certificate in sustainable tourism destination management, demonstrating her commitment to fostering responsible tourism practices.

Cassandra’s dedication to our industry is further exemplified by her role as an instructor in the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) program, which prepares senior executives to advance their careers and helps industry leaders thrive in a constantly changing environment. Cassandra is actively involved in various boards and committees, contributing her insights and expertise to further the industry's goals and initiatives.

Before joining MMGY NextFactor, Cassandra served as the Vice President of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement with Tourism Calgary, where she played a key role in shaping the organization's strategic communication, engagement and destination planning efforts.

Cassandra's journey in the tourism industry is characterized by a commitment to excellence, a passion for sustainable practices, and a desire to create meaningful and lasting impacts on the communities she serves. 

John Lambeth

Founder & CEO


John Lambeth, Civitas’ Founder & CEO, specializes in developing and advocating for unique tourism and travel promotion funding strategies. He and his team deliver unequaled knowledge, depth, and experience globally to destinations and communities that seek sustainable funding solutions to fuel their futures.

He is the leading national expert in tourism district creation. He also drafts statewide enabling legislation, builds support among tourism businesses and electeds, and provides non-profit assistance. He and his firm have been recognized as a national leader in developing and implementing revolutionary financing mechanisms for destinations, including those looking to build or upgrade their local sports facilities.

Mr. Lambeth and his team are frequent speakers on advocacy and funding who have presented at conferences around the world, including those hosted by Destinations International, CalTravel, US Travel, ISHA, and Sports ETA.

He is the former Clerk to the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, the former Chair of the Board for Destinations International Foundation, a current member of the Board of the U.S. Travel Association, and a former Chair of the CalTravel Board of Directors.


Destination Development 101: Planning, Analysis, Funding and Execution
05/08/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 05/08/2024  |  60 minutes  |   Closed captions available
05/08/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 05/08/2024  |  60 minutes  |   Closed captions available
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