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Huntsville works to keep AUSA conference for good

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Huntsville-Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is already looking ahead to next year's AUSA (Association of the United States Army) conference, with hopes to Huntsville its long-term home.

"The truth is, they want to make it a permanent home but nothing's permanent," said Bob Rogers, vice president of conventions for the CVB. "Their intent is to keep it here for the foreseeable future but we have to work hard to make sure that that happens."

Huntsville captured the convention from Fort Lauderdale, Florida two years ago and the decision to bring it here, and now, keep it here, has been a simple one.

"We would do it here because of the facility, the nearness of so many military and civilians working for the government and because of the capabilities that this town and area can provide over time," said Roger Thompson, vice president of AUSA membership.

AUSA is slated to return to the Von Braun Center next year and convention planners say it takes a lot of work to keep them coming back.

"We want to keep it here forever but you've got to be on your game you've got to make them feel appreciated and that you can accommodate them," said Rogers.

With 6,000 attendees, the city's hotels were sold out, and Rogers says that as downtown grows, the convention will grow with it.