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Chula Vista’s Tourism Marketing District Scrutinized

Tuesday night, January 10, the Chula Vista City Council wrangled for four hours over whether or not the chamber of commerce (aka the Tourism Marketing District) was doing an adequate job promoting motel/hotel businesses. Finally, the council postponed signing a contract with the tourism district.

The tourism district is charged with promoting hotel/motel business. When a person stays in one of the city’s motels or hotels, that person pays a 10 percent transient occupancy tax that goes to the city and an extra 2 ½ percent assessment to the tourism district.

Prior to the meeting, councilmember Patricia Aguilar had been contacted by a hotel owner who complained that the $940,000 collected since 2009 by the tourism district was not putting “heads on beds.” On Tuesday, Aguilar carried forward nine additional petitions from motel/hotel owners.

Raj Jaiswal, owner of the Palomar Inn, told the council he did not want “pennies for dollars,” particularly during these recessionary times. He said he checked the tourism district’s expenditures and found a disproportionate amount of the assessment funds were spent on wages for the people who worked at the Chula Vista visitors’ center, not on direct marketing. Jaiswal said he spent time at the center and heard people ask where to shop, not where to stay.

Councilmember Rudy Ramirez said it might be time to rethink the “brick and mortar” idea of the center as lodging reservations are primarily done online these days.

Hotel/motel owner representation on the tourism district was another concern raised.

The city and chamber attorneys hope to return in February with an amended contract.

Pictured: Chula Vista visitors center

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Tuesday night, January 10, the Chula Vista City Council wrangled for four hours over whether or not the chamber of commerce (aka the Tourism Marketing District) was doing an adequate job promoting motel/hotel businesses. Finally, the council postponed signing a contract with the tourism district.

The tourism district is charged with promoting hotel/motel business. When a person stays in one of the city’s motels or hotels, that person pays a 10 percent transient occupancy tax that goes to the city and an extra 2 ½ percent assessment to the tourism district.

Prior to the meeting, councilmember Patricia Aguilar had been contacted by a hotel owner who complained that the $940,000 collected since 2009 by the tourism district was not putting “heads on beds.” On Tuesday, Aguilar carried forward nine additional petitions from motel/hotel owners.

Raj Jaiswal, owner of the Palomar Inn, told the council he did not want “pennies for dollars,” particularly during these recessionary times. He said he checked the tourism district’s expenditures and found a disproportionate amount of the assessment funds were spent on wages for the people who worked at the Chula Vista visitors’ center, not on direct marketing. Jaiswal said he spent time at the center and heard people ask where to shop, not where to stay.

Councilmember Rudy Ramirez said it might be time to rethink the “brick and mortar” idea of the center as lodging reservations are primarily done online these days.

Hotel/motel owner representation on the tourism district was another concern raised.

The city and chamber attorneys hope to return in February with an amended contract.

Pictured: Chula Vista visitors center

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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