Houston. Together, we're more than two million ingredients that make something that can't be discovered or tasted or invented anywhere else — art and imagination, ambition and collaboration, food and friends.
Houston First Corporation is leading the effort to promote Houston as one of the great cities of the world. Our employees operate the city's finest convention, arts and entertainment venues.
A local government corporation formed in 2011, Houston First’s responsibilities include the development of the destination brand strategy, promoting the city worldwide, driving tourism and convention business, operating numerous facilities, producing events that serve the community, collaborating with commercial and industry partners and much more.
Promote Houston as a premier global destination, building partnerships to improve the quality of life of Houstonians, and becoming a top revenue generator for the Houston region.
Houston First puts People first.
We create an open and welcoming workplace to support authenticity.
Embrace the Power of Together
We foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive partnerships to enhance the lives of Houstonians.
We are responsible for our actions and empowering others to succeed.
We cultivate an atmosphere that fosters development and work life balance.
What Is Houston First Corporation?
In 2011, the City of Houston established Houston First, a local government corporation created to operate the city’s convention and performing arts facilities, as well as promote Houston as a world-class destination for tourism and conventions.
Houston First’s vision and efforts enrich the lives of Houstonians in a number of ways, beginning with promoting the region as a destination for tourism and convention business. The organization also works to attract film production to the area and operates theaters where world-class performances take center stage, all while managing outdoor spaces where festivals and other activities thrive.
Houston First’s establishment was the result of more than 10 years of study. In forming the organization, the City consolidated its Convention & Entertainment Facilities Department, and the Houston Convention Center Hotel Corporation (created by the City in 2000).
A 2014 alignment with what was then the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) streamlined the two organizations and improved accountability, while providing Houston First with the flexibility to adjust sales and marketing expenditures based on market conditions. Today, Houston First serves as the official destination management organization for Houston.
Houston First operations include day-to-day maintenance, management and licensing of its properties as the sites of conventions and trade shows (40 major events and 200 smaller events, per year), concerts and theatrical performances (more than 600, per year), and civic events. The organization also acts as the City of Houston’s agent for collection of hotel occupancy tax revenue.
A 15-member Board of Directors sets policy for the corporation and approves its major initiatives and expenditures. The City of Houston maintains an oversight role through the City Council’s approval of board appointments and its annual budget. Two City Council members also sit on the Board of Directors, in ex-officio roles.
Houston First Assets
Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston and manages these assets for the City of Houston:
- George R. Brown Convention Center
- Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel
- Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
- Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts
- Miller Outdoor Theatre
- Talento Bilingue de Houston
- Avenida Houston
- Wortham Theater Center
- Partnership Tower
- Theater District Parking
- Avenida Parking
- Toyota Tundra Garage