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Beachwood Hosts Only City-Run Convention, Visitors Bureau in County

It's the only Convention and Visitors Bureau run by a city in Cuyahoga County, but other organizations in this region and statewide are similar.

It may seem unusual for Beachwood to but Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus Executive Director Philip Craig points out that there are several in other parts of the state.

The Beachwood Convention and Visitors Bureau, a 501(c)(6)  will launch around the beginning of September.

In Franklin County, where Columbus is located, half a dozen bureaus have been established in suburbs like Hilliard, Worthington and Dublin.

Some, like Hilliard’s, are focused on tourism, unlike Beachwood’s, whose purpose will largely be to market the city and attract conventions.

But the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau is very similar to Beachwood’s in structure and purpose.

Founded in 1988, it has a full-time executive director and a board comprised of community, city and business leaders. The Bureau is funded by city lodging taxes — about half a million last year for the city of 44,000 with 14 hotels.

Beachwood is considerably smaller, with a population of 11,000 and six hotels, and its director, Wayne Lawrence, is a half-time equivalent at the CVB and spends the other half of his time as the Director of the  a separate entity.

No other cities in Cuyahoga County has a convention and visitors bureau registered with the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau, but many communities and neighborhoods have city development organizations, Lakewood Alive, University Circle and Little Italy.

Positively Cleveland, Cleveland’s convention and visitors bureau, said that they work with these development organizations and welcome other bureaus in the county.

“That just strengthens what we’re all trying to do, which is promoting and advocating and increasing tourism for all of us,” said Lexi Hotchkiss, Director of Communication.

“At the end of the day, our perspective is that you’re not just coming to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center; you’re also going to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton,” she added.

A report commissioned by the city last year recommended that the city take part in more regional efforts to improve its economic development.

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