Chamber wins ’08 marketing contract
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association won’t have to compete for the right to continue doing tourism marketing for the city next year.City Council voted 5-2 Thursday night to forgo seeking proposals from other parties, and award the chamber the $600,000 marketing contract for 2008.The decision helps further mend relations between the chamber and city, after some city officials had questioned the chamber’s spending of the contract money in 2005.However, Mayor Bruce Christensen and council member Larry Beckwith said that while they think the chamber is doing a good job, the city has a fiscal responsibility at least to consider proposals from others who might be interested in doing tourism marketing for the city.”We are the stewards of the money. I have no ax to grind. … It’s just that I think we have to see what’s there,” Beckwith said.The chamber has held the contract for some 20 years, and it has never been put out to a competitive bid. The money is generated by a bed tax on local lodging.Other council members said it makes the most sense for the chamber to continue marketing the city.”I think that we have an organization that is working well for the city, that knows the city,” said council member Dave Merritt.Council member Joe O’Donnell said he received almost 50 e-mails on the issue, and all but one backed giving the contract to the chamber.”We’ve got something that’s working. Let’s leave it where it is,” he said.Kate Collins, vice president of tourism marketing for the chamber, said the chamber has a 20-year record of success promoting Glenwood.”I think it’s an important role for us to keep as a key nonprofit in the community,” she said.Amid the concerns raised in 2005 by the city and some local tourism businesses, a tourism board made up of industry representatives was set up to oversee spending of contract money. That board supports keeping the contract with the chamber. Collins said it takes time to institute the programs and build the infrastructure the tourism board and chamber are working on, so it’s important to have a long-term commitment from the city.Said O’Donnell, “The tourism board and the chamber board are working extremely well together and I don’t think we want to split that up.”But Christensen said it’s important to make sure the city gets maximum benefit from its tourism marketing contract, and that can be done only by putting the contract out for bid.”I personally have been very pleased with what has happened with the marketing contract but that isn’t the issue,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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