Award Encourages Visitors to Tour, Touch and Live Houston’s Storied Past

Houston, TX – March 1, 2016 – Historians and preservation enthusiasts now have a chance to relive Houston’s storied past thanks to Houston First Corporation for awarding $12,500 to The Heritage Society (AASLH members since 2013), Houston’s only outdoor, interactive historic museum and park. This award will support marketing efforts to promote THS’s first Historical Holiday Weekend in Houston that unveils the city’s hidden gems and traditions. Through this fun-filled, cultural journey, guests will experience a restored collection of historically significant homes, churches reflecting religious architectural trends and more. This history-rich event within minutes to Houston’s revived landmark pubs is scheduled for December 9 through December 11, 2016.

“Houston’s tourist attractions remain a best kept secret,” said Jorge Franz, Senior Vice President of Tourism for Visit Houston.  To overcome this, Houston First Corporation and Visit Houston have committed to grow tourism to Houston from 15 million to 20 million by 2018. Within the tourism sector, tourism partners are encouraged to collaborate and create group packages that will stimulate travel to Houston. “We’re raising awareness that our diverse city, well-known for its thriving business market, also offers a cornucopia of cultural activities for the young to the young-at-heart year-round,” he said.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the Houston First matching grant award,” said Alice Collette, executive director for THS. “Every dollar allocated for this project will be matched, giving us a greater opportunity to stretch our marketing budget and extend our reach beyond Houston. In addition, working with our partners – Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Bayou Bend Collection and Garden, and Houston Historical Tours – give each of us an opportunity to leverage resources and offer guests exceptional value as they tour, touch and live another era during the holiday season.”

During this inaugural year, Houston First Corporation and Visit Houston awarded $250,000 in grant funding to 14 non-profit organizations. The matching grant awards will be used to support each organization’s marketing efforts that improve the image of Houston as a premiere travel destination and help raise awareness of Houston’s tourist attractions. This year’s projects were chosen for funding after a competitive selection and submission process.

About Houston First Corporation
Houston First Corporation operates the city’s finest convention and arts facilities to position Houston as a world-class destination. In 2014, Houston First and Visit Houston aligned their operations to create a single clear voice representing the city. Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel and manages more than 10 city-owned buildings, plazas and parking facilities. Properties include the George R. Brown Convention Center, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Wortham Center and Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit and

About The Heritage Society
Founded in 1954, The Heritage Society (THS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to telling the stories of Houston’s diverse history through collections, exhibits, and educational programs.