A former director of convention and visitor bureaus in North Dakota, Nebraska and South Texas will be the new leader of the Amarillo Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The council has hired Dan Quandt to be its new executive director, according to a news release. He will begin his new job Oct. 22, according to the release.

Quandt replaces former council director Jerry Holt, who left in August for a position in the

Dallas-Fort Worth area, spokesman Eric Miller said. Quandt directed convention and visitor bureaus in Grand Forks, N.D., Lincoln, Neb., and South Padre Island before coming to Amarillo, the release said.

He also was a board member of the Texas Travel Industry Association, chaired the Texas Travel Industry Association marketing committee and chaired the Texas Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, the release said. He now serves on the travel association's legislative committee, the release said.

"I am very excited and honored to join these great marketing professionals in Amarillo," Quandt said in the release. "With the existing facilities and attractions, combined with the visionary new downtown development, Amarillo has a great deal to offer meeting planners, sporting events and the traveling public."

Miller said Quandt's involvement in Texas made him a known quantity.

"To most all of us on the staff, we've known him for years," Miller said.

Holt now is handling promotions for Trader's Village at Grand Prairie, Miller said.

Trader's Village, open since 1973, is a venue featuring thousands of dealers, food, entertainment and activities, Miller said. Other villages are located in San Antonio and Houston, according to its website.

"We have 1.7 million or 1.8 million visitors here in Amarillo that we track annually, they (the village) get over 3 million visitors to their park in Grand Prairie," Miller said.

Staff writer Karen Smith Welch contributed to this report.

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