YOU ARE INVITED:
Billings Chamber of Commerce’s
2022 Aspirational City Visit and Leadership Exchange Omaha, Nebraska; May 31-June 2, 2022
What is an Aspirational City Visit?
Every other year the Billings Chamber board identifies a community from which we can learn. In 2014
we visited Sioux Falls, SD; in 2016 Oklahoma City, OK; 2018 Allentown, PA; and Omaha, NE in 2022.
The goal is not to emulate, or aspire to be that community, rather to learn from these cities (both
larger and smaller than Billings) and their leaders about specific projects, initiatives, successes
and failures that can drive Billings in the future.
The visiting delegation (Billings) and leaders from the host community (Omaha, NE) discuss
challenges and opportunities their communities are facing. The visit provides an opportunity for
interaction among city leaders and facilitates exchange of best practices and lessons learned.
This visit is designed to inspire new ideas. We create an environment where our business and civic
leaders can thoughtfully take time to think creatively about the future of Billings with a long
horizon. The Billings Chamber’s unique strength is its ability to: CONVENE leaders and influencers;
be a CATALYST for business growth; to lead as a CHAMPION for our community. Convening the right
people needed to develop and implement a shared vision for our community serves as a significant
tool to move forward with one voice.
In choosing a destination to visit, we consider our existing priorities, issues and concerns; but
also look at opportunities to vision the future in ways yet explored. Addressing public safety
challenges is at the top of the list this year. Quality of life and amenity infrastructure
development (convention center, entertainment district, multi-use facilities that spur private
development, riverfront development, trails, sports venues) have been part of our strategic vision
for years, and continues to be an area of need in our community (especially funding mechanisms). We
also select a destination where community leaders are working cohesively toward a shared vision.
Through this examination we hope to learn about demographic shifts, attracting younger residents
and key industry makeup (ag, energy, finance, healthcare). Selecting a community with similar
demographics and of similar size is fine; however, we can often uncover unique approaches to
addressing community concerns when
visiting larger communities, and scaling those ideas to work for our area.
We are approaching this trip as an exploration and an opportunity to learn. We allow the process to
get messy; the messiness is uncomfortable but it encourages healthy dialogue that allows meaningful
ideas to emerge. We resolve to allow the process to evolve and be strategic.
We will kick things off at 4 p.m. on Day 1 with a reception including dignitaries from Omaha, and
“Get to know OMA” presentations. Programs and tours continue on Day 2 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The
last event will conclude on Day 3 by 1:30 p.m. Our itinerary will be completely full with no
downtime. For those who would like to take advantage of the connections we will make and conduct
further business while in Omaha or tour areas we will not see, please plan your travel accordingly
to arrive early or stay late. Discounted sleeping rooms will be available the day prior and day
after the event schedule.
• Downtown Development/Housing around the Capital District
• Public Facility and Park Management: MECA (Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention
• Diversity Equity and Inclusion (Gallup Research and Omaha Chamber)
• Community Branding: Omaha We Don’t Coast (Community Partners)
• Public Safety (Omaha Police and Continuum of Care Campus)
• Sports marketing and facilities (Sports Authority, Baseball World Series)
Attendees are responsible for booking and paying for their own airfare. Currently, tickets may be
found for about $700.
Travelers are responsible to book their rooms directly with the hotel and are responsible for all
sleeping room costs. Our host hotel is the Omaha Marriott Downtown. Rooms will be $159/night plus
taxes and fees, but please do not book until I send you the link and reservation code. It’s
important that all reservations are made under our block.
The Omaha Marriott Downtown is a 12-story hotel and the anchor for the Capitol District, an upscale
urban destination, with a dining and entertainment community located in the heart of downtown
Omaha. The hotel is across the street from the CHI Health Center and Arena. The full-service hotel
features an on-site restaurant, bar and a Starbucks® coffeehouse. Just outside the Omaha Marriott
Downtown’s doors, the Capitol District offers an eclectic, urban twist on the traditional town
square. This district features a large outdoor Plaza surrounded by a variety of restaurants, shops
and entertainment options just outside our doors.
• Invitations are nontransferable and space is limited.
• Each attendee must pay the registration fee to the Billings Chamber of $675 to cover hard
costs of meals, ground transportation, tours, receptions, etc.
• Delegates are required to book and pay for transportation from Billings to the host city,
cost of hotel, and incidentals.
• The budget is based on the full delegation taking part in each and all parts of the program
and contracts have been negotiated from that perspective.
• Refunds may be provided with the exception of non-refundable deposits from third party
• Attendees must be Chamber members in good standing, or approved by management due to the
knowledge and skills the attendee offers relevant to the trip’s mission.
We look forward to you joining us!