Council to consider funding visitors bureau
City Administrator Rob Hill presented the item to the council, then let CCED members plead their case.
By asking the council to consider providing funding for the Lassen County’s Visitor’s Bureau, CCED member Sally Finizio said the council would be providing a shot in the arm for an organization that she said would eventually be able to stand on its own and fund itself.
“We all agree that Susanville has a lot to sell,” said Finizio when addressing the council. “And the goal of the tourism bureau is to attract more tourists, attract more shopping, attract more income to our local businesses and to the city coffers as well.”
The shot in the arm Finizio was talking about would take the form of a three-year budgeting commitment from the city. CCED members asked the city council for a minimum funding level of $25,000 for the first year, $50,000 for the second year and $75,000 for the third. The CCED said the total sum of $150,000 would need to be matched on the county level, and would be supplemented through business contributions and service fees.
Finizio said the CCED has met with the Chamber of Commerce in coming up with ideas and options for the visitors bureau, and according to Rob Hill’s initial report, all parties involved agreed an independently functioning bureau would work the best for the county.
Mayor Lino Callegari warned the CCED members that by receiving funding from the city, the bureau would, in a sense, be tied to the council, requiring the bureau to give updates and progress reports on how the organization is using the funding.
General manager for Diamond Mountain Casino and CCED member Campbell Jamieson said the Susanville Indian Rancheria gave him the okay to commit $20,000 for this year to help fund the bureau.
He said the Tribe has a vested interest in the bureau as a member of the community that wants to see tourism and commerce increase in the county.
“One of the biggest things for me is the buy-in from the Chamber (of commerce),” Jamieson said. “They are fully behind this, and I think it’s a great opportunity to actually make it happen.”
District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman addressed the board and voiced his support, saying that the bureau can succeed if it puts itself in a position to be effective. If that happens, he said the private sector in the county would definitely be willing to go to bat for encompassing tourism dollars.
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