Glenwood Springs receives two proposals for tourism promotion
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association is bidding against Denver- and Edwards-based marketing firm Hill Aevium for the right to continue handling tourism promotion efforts for the city of Glenwood Springs for the next two years.
After five organizations were invited to submit formal proposals on the city’s new tourism promotion contract, only two bids were turned in by the deadline last Friday, said Kate Collins of Write Brain West consulting, who is facilitating the bid process for the city.
One firm, Denver-based CCT, determined it had a client conflict and could not proceed, Collins said. Two locally-based firms, Promotional Concepts and Backbone Media, were also initially invited to bid.
Promotional Concepts ultimately decided not to proceed as well, while Backbone was denied a request to extend the deadline for it to submit a proposal, she said.
The Glenwood Springs Tourism Board had its first meeting Thursday to consider the two proposals that were submitted by the deadline. It will hear formal presentations from both applicants next month.
The Chamber Resort Association has held the contract to handle tourism promotion efforts for Glenwood Springs, using funds from the city’s lodging tax, for the past two decades.
Hill Aevium, the other bidder in the city’s first-ever competitive process to award the contract, is based in Denver but also has office in Edwards. The firm handles marketing for a variety of public and private clients throughout the region.
The tourism board had planned to select the top three proposals out of the original five outfits that were invited to bid. With only two actual proposals, though, both will move forward in the process.
“I was disappointed we only had two; not necessarily surprised, but disappointed,” said Glenwood Springs Mayor Matt Steckler, who sits as one of two city council representatives on the tourism board.
“I really thought we would have had a lot of interested bidders, especially with the economic situation and since this was an opportunity,” he said. “For whatever reason, that was not the case.”
After oral presentations by the applicants at the tourism board’s July 14 meeting, the board could to make a recommendation to Glenwood Springs City Council by August.
The chamber has been the official organization in charge of marketing efforts using proceeds from the city’s lodging tax, which is currently 2.5 percent, since the taxes’ inception.
Until last year, the chamber was also charged with appointing a tourism board to oversee the marketing efforts. But City Council decided to remove the board function from the chamber, and instead set up a new city-appointed tourism board with more citizen representation.
The nine-member city tourism board includes a mix of five tourism and nontourism business representatives, as well as four at-large citizen representatives. It is now charged with awarding the tourism promotion contract every two years, beginning in 2012.
The chamber is continuing in its capacity as the city’s tourism promotion agency for this year.
Tourism board members were asked before the Thursday meeting to rank the two applicants based on aspects of their proposals related to their approach to both in-state and national advertising, public relations, ideas for tourism-related events and other creative capabilities, as well as their ability to deliver what they say they can.
The chamber and Hill Aevium came out roughly even in the points-scoring system by the nine members of the board. The board agreed to hold the July 14 presentations in public session, although the second presenter will be asked to remain outside the room when the first presentation is made, the members also agreed.
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