Irvine : City’s Year-Old Visitors Bureau Votes to Disband
Claiming that it lacked sufficient funding and support from the city, the board of directors of the Irvine Convention and Visitors Bureau voted to dissolve the organization on June 30 after a year in operation.
The bureau, whose purpose was to promote the convention and tourism industry in Irvine, turned down the city’s offer to lend it $57,500 and assess hotel visitors an additional room tax in order to continue operating.
Ron Cribbet, the bureau’s president, said last week that since visitors already pay an 8% bed tax to stay in Irvine hotels, an additional tax would be excessive.
In a prepared statement, Cribbet said, “The members of the Board of Directors expressed their deep regret at the dissolving of the Irvine Convention and Visitors Bureau because they felt the City of Irvine would be losing its only promotional arm and would not be able to effectively compete with surrounding cities.”
The city gave the bureau $52,000 to get started last year and then recently offered the group of local businessmen the $57,500 loan as well as the additional room tax to keep going, according to Paul Brady, assistant city manager.
The bureau rejected the city’s offer and voted instead to let its contract with the expire.