This Just In
  • The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) relaunched its Worth Meeting About campaign to highlight the value of face-to-face meetings.
  • The campaign will crowdsource stories & testimonials on social media to develop a set of case studies and to create an online conversation.
  • Cobo Center will host the North American International Auto Show through 2025, after the show signed a new 8-year deal with Cobo in July.
  • SMG, which manages Cobo, signed its first agreement with the auto show in 2012. The NAIAS annually draws more than 800,000 attendees.
  • Effective Aug 1, 2017, the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) will transition to ESCA's Worker Identification System (WIS) Badge.
  • The change takes full effect in Jan 1, 2018. Show workers will be required to carry a WIS badge or the credential issued by the SDCC.
  • The Consumer Technology Association, organizers of the annual CES show, was named one of Washington’s Top Workplaces by the Washington Post.
  • The CTA has made the prestigious list for four consecutive years. The rankings are based on employee responses about workplace culture.
  • Comexposium has launched a joint venture with Indonesia’s Amara Group. The partnership includes running the GIIAS auto show in Jakarta.
  • The partnership plans to increase international attendance at GIIAS and launch a new expo for Indonesia’s bus-and-truck market.

North Carolina Repeals “Bathroom Bill”; Hopes to Regain Lost Business

Sandi Cain
, News Editor
April 3, 2017
Share On:

Raleigh, NC-- The North Carolina state legislature last week repealed HB2—the controversial ‘bathroom bill’ passed in March 2016—after the NCAA threatened to take more sporting events away from the state over the next five years if some action wasn’t taken. Last year alone, the NCAA relocated seven championship events set for the state in 2016-17 immediately after HB2 passed.

The Legislature said the intent of the repeal was to restore what was the status quo prior to the passage of HB2. However, the repeal includes a provision that local governments may no longer enact their own anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBT community through 2020. After that, local governments would be able to enact anti-discrimination legislation---but could not include any provisions concerning the use of public restrooms. Cities such as Raleigh whose non-discrimination laws pre-dated HB2 will be allowed to retain those laws.

While businesses, chambers of commerce and realtors generally were in favor of the repeal, some in the LGBT community said it doesn’t offer enough protection for them. Still, the Atlantic Coast Conference for college sports said it would start holding events in North Carolina again as a result of the repeal. 

Dennis Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (VisitRaleigh), said they were grateful that the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Roy Cooper had found a solution to the issue.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this will ease the concerns of our clients/groups that have expressed concern over holding events in Raleigh and Wake County,” Edwards said. “However, it is also too early for us to speculate on what impact this will have on the travel bans currently in place from other states and municipalities around the country,” he added.

Several states, including California, New York, Vermont and Washington banned publicly funded travel to North Carolina while HB2 was in effect. The cities of New York, Portland, Ore., Seattle, San Francisco, West Palm Beach, Fla. And Chicago passed similar bans.

Raleigh alone lost $732,000 in cancelled events immediately after HB2’s passage last year and estimated the measure could cost the city as much as $24 million in lost revenue overall. An Associated Press study estimated enforcing the law would cost North Carolina more than $3.7 billion in lost business over a decade. 

Reach Dennis Edwards at (919) 834-5900 or Dedwards@visitraleigh.com

Share On: