A pair of new contracts for tourism services in Fountain Hills has created a “win-winwin-win” situation, according to town officials.
That’s a lot of wins, but there were a lot of parties that had to come together and make compromises before Thursday night’s Town Council meeting.
The council passed by a 5-1 vote a one-year, $60,000 pact with the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, and a three-year, $375,000 deal with the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce.
The town’s four hotels will split a $10,000 contribution to help maintain ties with the Scottsdale bureau.
But after facing the possibility of being cut loose from Scottsdale’s cachet, they believe this is a wise investment.
“(Scottsdale) is an 800-pound gorilla,” said Doug DeLong, general manager of CopperWynd Resort and Club. “When you think of Arizona, you think of Scottsdale. So, for us to have that association is very important.”
The town is now on the hook for more than $400,000, but civic leaders are counting on the partnerships bringing in total gross hotel room sales worth more than $8 million during the next fiscal year.
The chamber lost its opportunity to be the town’s sole promoter of tourism, as a previous contract proposed. But chamber CEO and president Frank Ferrara sees this as an excellent opportunity to put Fountain Hills on the map.
“We are looking at ourselves as a destination, and that’s the way we will market ourselves,” Ferrara said.
Finally, the Scottsdale bureau dropped its asking price by $15,000. But its contract still represents a hefty hike over last year, and there is no separation from the agency and an upscale town with resorts, golf and world-class scenery.
“We feel Fountain Hills has a very, very bright future,” said Brent DeRaad, executive vice president of the Scottsdale bureau.