In Memoriam - David Attaway
Placer Valley Tourism CEO David Attaway, one of the visionaries and leaders of the multimillion-dollar transformation of the former Placer County Fairgrounds into @the Grounds in Roseville, California, died while on vacation in early March.
Attaway’s career in tourism and events marketing spanned more than 40 years. He was hired as CEO of Placer Valley Tourism in 2010. His hospitality experience also included senior executive positions at Caesar’s Tahoe and Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas.
Placer Valley Tourism, a business improvement district (BID) that includes the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, also manages the former Placer County Fairgrounds, a 61-acre site in central Roseville that was renamed @the Grounds. Attaway also served as CEO of @the Grounds.
“David was a visionary unlike any I’ve had the pleasure of knowing,” said Lauryl Hernandez, chair of the Placer Valley Tourism Board of Directors and general manager of Hyatt Place in Roseville. “His confidence and leadership were inspirational for the board, which led to the growth of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds. His vision and the organizations’ successes have forever positively impacted the surrounding communities and tourism industry. He will be greatly missed.”
Attaway is also credited for his work in the transformation of the former Placer County Fairgrounds into @the Grounds in Roseville.
In spring 2018, Placer Valley Tourism completed the first phase of the plan, a more than $10 million transformation of @the Grounds, including the renovation of Johnson and Jones halls and the multi-use barns, installation of digital marquees, new landscaping and walkways, and paving of the south parking lot.
The first phase served as the foundation for the much-larger and much-needed piece, the 160,000-square-foot Event Center. The building is the cornerstone of a far-reaching effort to attract more sports tournaments to the region.
The Roebbelen Center is one of the largest meeting spaces in the Sacramento region, able to accommodate as many as 12 full-length basketball courts or 24 volleyball courts.
“David Attaway was the perfect example of a dynamic and energetic leader. His passion for the hotel industry and love for helping businesses thrive was apparent to all who met him. The one promise he always made to staff, ‘You will never be bored,’ and I can truly attest to that,” said Placer Valley Tourism marketing director, Kim Summers. “He was always working two steps ahead and thinking of the next project. Work was never done in David’s mind, just another milestone completed. David encouraged thinking outside the box and held high expectations on all projects. He knew what people were capable of and wanted to see people grow and achieve whatever personal and professional goals they might have. David was the first to tell you to do more and to do it better but was also the first to congratulate you on a job well done. I would not be where I am today professionally had I not had the privilege to work for David.”