The Beachwood Area Chamber of Commerce got the green light to start a Beachwood Convention and Visitors Bureau at Monday’s City Council meeting, as long as a board is in place to oversee it.
The vote was stalled last meeting when Councilman Brian Linick voted against allowing a final reading. He said that he would like the city’s newly appointed economic development director, James Doutt, to consider the measure.
Doutt spoke in favor of the $65,000 proposal Monday, adding that he supports paying for it out of his budget it as long as a third-party board is appointed to ensure accountability.
The board, made up of seven members including Doutt, another city official and two Chamber representatives, will develop specific criteria for the CVB’s first six months. After six months, City Council will re-evaluate the Bureau and decide whether to continue funding it.
The Chamber was asked by the city to propose a plan to run the CVB earlier this year. The agreement states that the $65,000 will support the CVB for its first year and after that, the Chamber will request $150,000 annually.
Chamber Executive Director Wayne Lawrence said the proposed Beachwood CVB would focus on marketing the city as a destination spot primarily for a secondary convention market of “social, military, educational, religious and fraternal” SMERF groups.
An economic development study conducted by SZD Whiteboard last year concluded that such a bureau would help the city attract new businesses and residents.