Organizations vie for CVB administration
By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
The competition is on for the right to administer Glendive’s new Conventions and Visitors Bureau.
The Glendive City Council’s Finance, Utilities, Property and Recreation Committee listened to arguments on Wednesday from representatives of the Dawson County Economic Development Council and the Glendive Chamber of Commerce about why each was the best choice run the CVB.
DCEDC Director Amy Deines made the argument that her organization is already involved with local tourism promotion through the Tourism Business Improvement District. The group already runs a website devoted to tourism, www.visitglendive.com.
Deines also said that after speaking with some other cities with CVBs, she believed the “success rate varies” if the CVB and TBID are not run by the same organization. She said having the two entities split between two different organizations could lead to an inconsistent marketing message.
Chamber board president Chris Undem countered with the argument that the Chamber office was the first place visitors to Glendive go for information.
“The Chamber is where tourists stop,” Undem said.
He also questioned whether it would be proper for the DCEDC to run the CVB.
“I read through this paperwork today, and I didn’t see where it talked about the economic development part of it,” Undem said.
Most Montana cities with CVBs do run them through their local chambers of commerce, and there is currently no CVB being run by an economic development council.
The city is not obligated to choose either the Chamber or the DCEDC, however.
The city council could opt to create an independent CVB with its own board, a fact Montana Office of Tourism spokesman Dan Iverson confirmed. Three cities – Missoula, Great Falls and Whitefish – have an independent CVB.
After hearing out both sides, the FUPR Committee members decided they did not have enough information about the CVB – the city council was first informed about it at the March 4 council meeting – to make a decision.
The committee ultimately elected to send out a request for proposals to administer the CVB, giving any local non-profit organization the opportunity to submit a written proposal to the city by March 24.
There will be a special FUPR Committee meeting at 5 p.m. on March 25 to make a decision on administration of the CVB.