Ink Masters Expo coming back to WF despite no full-service hotel

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - In Wichita Falls the Ink Masters Expo is happening Friday through Sunday at the MPEC with 80 artists from all over the world.

It's a convention that's bringing 4,000 people to the city despite the fact there's no full-service hotel next to the events center.

But those putting on the expo feel it's going to be a success either way.

"We're actually going to come back next year too," Event Organizer, Raymond Hernandez said. "It's in the works."

"It's exciting because all these people are people who have never been to Wichita Falls," Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lindsay Barker said. "They're coming here, staying here, they're going to spend their money while they're here, and hopefully we will attract some attendee's who are also local and not from Wichita Falls."

It's just one of many conventions the city has landed since buzz of the hotel.

Barker said it's been mentioned in presentations, but no one has been promised the hotel since it's not official.

"We obviously don't want to guarantee it," she said. "So those are not contingent on it. But that being said, if that hotel was confirmed it really increases the opportunities that we have to bring more events to Wichita Falls."

Hernandez said it was discussed in the presentation to them, but isn't what attracted them to Wichita Falls.

"I always target places with college kids, Air Force bases, and military bases," he said. "And I was like oh there's an Air Force Base so let's try it right there and see what happens. And Lawton, Oklahoma isn't too far from here so I figured I could target both cities."

Barker said part of the reason there are more conventions is because of all the wonderful things happening in Wichita Falls that they can sell.

She said hotel or not, they will press forward and continue with the momentum they've been building.

"We want to attract these businesses and these conventions and events to our city because that money just cycles into our local economy," Barker said.

She said she loves having events like these that are unique and draw in people Wichita Falls typically wouldn't see but added it would be much easier with a full-service hotel and conference center because it's an industry expectation.

On Wednesday hotel developer Gatehouse Capital will be in Wichita Falls to give the 4B board an update on the project.

Deputy City Manager Jim Dockery said right now there is no new information on the project.

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