Glenwood Chamber gets tourism contract |

Glenwood Chamber gets tourism contract

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” City officials gave the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association glowing praise before awarding it a contract last week for 2009’s tourism promotion funds.

Mayor Bruce Christensen said, “I think the tourism portion of the chamber has done a remarkable job in the past couple of years, especially since (vice president of tourism and marketing Kate Collins) has been here, and the whole organization has shown a ratcheting-up of professionalism.”

Collins came on board with the chamber in 2006.

The 2009 contract came up now because of the time it would take to go through a request for proposals process if the city had decided to put the contract out to bid.

The city considered putting it out to bid after some city officials questioned the chamber’s spending of contract money in 2005. The chamber has held the contract for more than 20 years, and it’s never been put out to bid.

The amount of the 2007 contract was $600,000 and the 2008 contract is $725,000. Funding comes mostly from lodging accommodations tax revenues.

“The current agreement, which was rewritten a couple years ago, is working well,” said City Manager Jeff Hecksel.

He added that the city’s relationship with the chamber is good, and that Collins and the tourism board have been doing a good job.

“We believe there’s a good deal of accountability,” he said. “We believe there’s a good deal of oversight.”

The city’s praise seems to indicate any past hard feelings are gone. However, a multi-year contract was not awarded despite a request by the chamber.

“We’d love for you to consider a multi-year blessing,” Collins said, “Or to go ahead and approve a two- to three-year term.”

The City Council voted unanimously to award the 2009 contract to the chamber.

“We’re pleased with the work that the chamber is doing, and we’re going to be entering into a one-year contract a whole year from now, so I think it’s a pretty strong statement,” said Councilman Dave Merritt.

Christensen said although he’s pleased with the chamber’s work, he’s concerned about carefully spending public funds.

“We’re looking at a pretty large amount of public money, and at some point I think we could consider what else is out there,” he said.

In an interview, Collins said she was pleased the city awarded the contract, but still feels a multi-year contract is appropriate.

“I would go so far as to say I don’t believe there is a more appropriate organization to manage the fund,” she said. “But for the city, in managing public funds, I think it’s natural and appropriate for them to analyze and evaluate how well something is working and could there be a way that it works better.”

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