JAMESTOWN, NY – The National Comedy Center has hired a new Director of Marketing and Communications to help develop and implement a marketing, public relations, and communications program for the recently opened facility.
According to a release sent out Friday by the NCC, Gary Hahn has joined the organization to help build extensive awareness for the NCC, establish the brand as a national destination, and drive visitor attendance among tourists from around the country.
“Hahn is a seasoned entertainment and tourism marketing executive whose extensive experience includes senior positions with major media and destination brands, including Elvis Presley’s Graceland, XM Satellite Radio and Warner Bros.,” the release stated. “Most recently, Hahn served as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) in Memphis, where he led marketing, branding, public relations, social media and digital content creation for the iconic Graceland Mansion, which welcomes approximately 600,000 visitors each year.”
During Hahn’s five-plus years at EPE, he led the marketing and public relations initiatives for the most significant expansion in Graceland history, including the opening of the “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” entertainment and exhibition complex in 2017 and the opening of the AAA four-diamond Guest House at Graceland resort hotel in 2016 – the largest hotel to be built in Memphis in 90 years.
Hahn also supervised the marketing and production of the annual Elvis Week celebration, which draws thousands of visitors to Memphis each August, as well as Elvis-themed live concert events which toured around the world.
“We are thrilled to have Gary join our team as we begin to significantly ramp up our marketing and branding efforts,” stated NCC executive director Journey Gunderson. “Gary’s extensive experience in destination and tourism marketing, and his entertainment branding expertise, will be tremendously valuable to us as we look to build the National Comedy Center brand nationwide and drive thousands of visitors to Jamestown year-round.”
Prior to EPE, Hahn held senior marketing positions with digital, cable and satellite entertainment companies including DIRECTV and Warner Bros.
Hahn also served on the board of Memphis Tourism (formerly the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau) and the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association, and as an advisory member of the Tennessee State Tourism Committee.
Hahn earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in marketing and finance, graduating summa cum laude, and earned his Master of Arts degree from The Newhouse School at Syracuse University, specializing in television, radio and film.
“I’m extremely excited and honored to join the National Comedy Center organization,” stated Hahn. “Journey and her team, and the board of directors, have built a first-class, state-of-the-art, national attraction and a wonderful visitor experience. It will be a true thrill for me to help grow this incredible brand, share the National Comedy Center story nationwide, and drive visitors to Jamestown so that they can experience it for themselves.”
The NCC opened in August 2018 at a combined cost of $35 million between the money invested in the renovation of the Gateway Train Station and the NCC build out. Much of the funding came by way of state economic development money along with federal funding as well. Prior its opening, the facility was expected to attract more than 100,000 annual visitors and have a $23 million annual stabilized economic impact on the region.
WRFA reached out to the NCC on Nov. 2 to get an update on how attendance has been through the first 3 months since its opening, but have not received a reply to our request.