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City Council to consider taking on tourism

Should the city get into the tourism business? That’s the question the City Council will tackle at its Monday meeting, when it decides whether to hire an outside contractor to handle visitor promotion services, or make the job a city function.

The move comes four months after the city pulled the plug on the nonprofit Merced Conference and Visitors Bureau’s tourism contract after discovering financial mismanagement at the organization.

When the council voted to terminate the CVB’s $181,000 contract, it directed city staff to solicit proposals from organizations looking to take over the city’s tourism services, which include running the California Welcome Center on 16th Street.

City staff is now ready to solicit those proposals. But they are also asking the council to consider another possibility: make tourism promotion a function of Merced’s Office of Economic Development. Read the full story in Saturday's Merced Sun-Star.