Friday November 27th, 2015 7:29PM

City of Gainesville proceeds with formation of CVB Authority

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - If everything goes as planned, Gainesville will have a Convention and Visitors Bureau Authority once this year's legislative session is over.

At its meeting Tuesday night, Gainesville City Council gave the okay to a resolution that requests the General Assembly approve the formation of a CVB Authority. City Communications and Tourism Director Catiel Felts said State. Rep. Carl Rogers already has a copy of the request ready to present to the General Assembly.

Felts said the Authority will not be a new entity under the city's tourism office per-se - it's basically a new name for the city's Tourism and Trade Division.

"As we were researching this [we found] that it's been in the city charter since the 50s," said Felts. "The name that we'll be using was in the charter in the 50s, so as a formality we thought it was best that the Tourism and Trade Division to take this name that is already in our charter."

As proposed, the CVB Authority would be composed of seven members from the city's hotel/motel industry, restaurant industry, local attractions industry and city officials.

"This will let them see where their money is going, the money that they're bringing into the community," said Felts. "This group...that is responsible for bringing people in, housing them, entertaining them - they will have an input inot how the hotel/motel tax dollars are actually spent."

Felts pointed out that the creation of a CVB will not require extra money for taxpayers.

"The budget for the Tourism and Trade Division already exists, so there is no new budget with this Authority. With the name change, all of that will stay the same."

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