GRANTS PASS – The Grants Pass City Council has authorized City Manager Aaron Cubic to form a starter board of directors for an independent, not-for-profit destination marketing organization to eventually handle the city’s tourism promotion operations. The new organization comes as a result of recommendations from DMOproz, the consulting firm the city contracted to complete a Performance Audit, Visioning & Enhancement Committee report on tourism promotion operations earlier this year.
The starter board of the new organization will consist of five members who will oversee the formation of the organization’s articles of incorporation and bylaws. The original members will also appoint six additional members to serve on the full board of directors of 11 representatives from community tourism-based industries such as outdoor recreation, arts and culture, tourist attractions, and agr-tourism.
The starter board members will include hotel industry executives Doug Bradley and Tamara Bushnell, and Terry Hopkins of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association. All three currently serve on the city’s Tourism Advisory Committee. Rounding out the starter board are Travel Southern Oregon Executive Director Brad Niva and Grants Pass City Councilor Valerie Lovelace.
Additional potential board members have been recommended by the city’s Tourism Advisory Committee and Collaborative Economic Development Committee. The goal of the new organization is to have a full board established by March 2021, followed by the hiring of a full-time executive director to facilitate the organization’s contract with the city to provide tourism promotion services.
Once the new organization is prepared to enter into a contract with the city, the city council will review and approve contract terms, including the contract budget, deliverables, metrics, and reporting requirements.
City staff will continue to manage tourism promotion operations until a contract with the new board is approved and a transition plan can be implemented.
The Josephine County Board of Commissioners has also expressed some interest in participating in the new organization, and Cubic has requested a letter of intent from them. If the commissioners agree to join in the effort, an additional seat on the board of directors will be established for county representation.