Clallam to consider $470,000 contract with Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners on Tuesday will consider a $470,000 agreement with the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau to promote tourism.

If approved, the Port Angeles-based nonprofit will use the county lodging tax funds to market the unincorporated area as a visitor destination.

“There are very specific restrictions in state law about how these funds can be used,” County Administrator Jim Jones told commissioners in a work session last Monday.

“Essentially, just to put it in one little phrase, it’s items that promote heads in beds in the unincorporated county.”

No commissioner objected to the proposed personal services agreement at the work session.

Commissioners will consider approving the renewed pact in their weekly business meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“This contract is already in the budget,” County Budget Director Debi Cook said Monday.

“It has already been approved and recommended by the Lodging Tax Advisory Board.”

The Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau was formed to “promote and develop a multi-faceted, year-round tourism industry in Clallam County,” according to the scope of work.

It provides administrative support for the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission and works closely with other economic development and community organizations, according to its website, www.olympicpeninsula.org.

Commissioner Bill Peach said the agreement represents a “tremendous opportunity for us to support small businesses and economic development in the county.”

First-year Commissioner Randy Johnson said he was familiar with Port Angeles promotions from his experience as a Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce board member.

“You want to know what works and what doesn’t,” Johnson said of lodging tax-funded marketing campaigns.

“Some things work really well. Some things don’t. We all know that. But I could never quite figure out what worked and what didn’t.”

Cook said the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau does a “really good job” of measuring its success.

Said Jones: “If you haven’t been part of it in the last two years, the state itself imposed and mandated a very detailed tracking system that shows what worked and what didn’t work.”

“That’s great, because that was always my problem before,” Johnson said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@ peninsuladailynews.com.

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