Yorkville City Council voted unanimously to continue the city’s relationship with the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, but only for three years, with an option to renew for another two.
Prior to adopting the three year plan, council voted against supporting a five year membership plan, which has been the norm. Council members said they did not believe the city was benefitting from the relationship with the visitors bureau. While most cities have a five year deal with the CVB, there is a precedent for a three year deal, said Alderman Carlo Colosimo.
The city received $51,029 in revenue last year from a 3 percent hotel tax. The city funnels 90 percent of the hotel tax revenue to the bureau under its current agreement, so last year the city paid about $45,000.
The first agreement between the visitors bureau and the city was signed in 1990 and last renewed in 2007.
Colosimo said the history between the city and the CVB has “not been that impressive.”
Alderman Rose Spears agreed. She said the CVB has “not done much” for Yorkville.
Alderman Chris Funhouser, who sits on the CVB board, said he was a proponent of the three year term. Business leaders approve of the direction of the new CVB director, but he said the three year agreement will protect that relationship.
“We want to do what’s best for our businesses and Yorkville,” Funhouser said.
Alderman Jacquelyn Milschewski said the only time she’s seen a representative from the visitors bureau appear before the city council is when they are seeking a contract renewal.
“We’ve seen the dog and pony show before… they get in, then they disappear,” she said.
Alderman Diane Teeling warned that any hasty action could hinder promotion of Yorkville businesses through the CVB. Business leaders have indicated they’re happy with the efforts of the CVB, she said. Teeling added the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has “a pool of money that can benefit the hotels and other businesses” better than any local entity could.
While aldermen were not satisfied with the efforts of the CVB, some area business leaders were. Randy Witt of Raging Waves urged council to continue the relationship.
A Yorkville hotelier said there are four representatives from Yorkville on the visitors bureau board.
Colosimo said he’s happy to hear city businesses have a stronger voice on the board, but warned that could change due to the board’s bylaws only guaranteeing Yorkville two seats.
“Those two additional seats can be yanked if a new chairman desires,” he said.