Board Members of the CVB:
Alicia Madsen, Lacey Bryan, Jan Westfall, Allene Owen, Kelly Patel, Shawna Farley, Mark Mingenback, Loren Unruh, Kim vink and Sonya Patel, and ex-officio members Jan Peters and Mayor Allison.
Owen was elected as chairperson and Mingenback was elected as vise chairperson.
The newly restructured Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau Board held its first meeting of the year Friday at the Event Center.
The purpose of the meeting was to get everyone on the same page with the new organization and to get the ball rolling for the year to come.
“We hope to get a lot of ideas from the community with the board’s help and try to implement a new direction of the CVB,” Mayor of Great Bend Mike Allison said.
With the new structure of the CVB, a new ordinance had to be put in place for a smooth transition to the new system.
Under the ordinance, the convention and tourism director shall coordinate, direct and promote convention and tourism activities of the city. The director shall also support local activities which bring people into the community and may stay in motels.
The director shall be an employee of the city and supervised by the city administrator or their designee. The process of hiring a new director and a number two person for the CVB is still ongoing.
According to the City Administrator Howard Partington, this process should be finalized soon.
The new CVB board is looking to make some improvements with the new system. One of these improvements are to reach out to the smaller communities in Barton County and to let them know what Great Bend has to offer them.
“We will have to work harder and better to bring people to Great Bend and make sure we are heading in the right direction,” Partington said.
Furthermore, the ordinance states that the board shall consist of 10 members, including six engaged in the hotel, motel or tourism industry, consisting of a maximum of one member of each hotel-motel ownership group.
Provided there are at least six ownership groups operating facilities in the city, then one member shall be a member of the city council and three who shall be chosen at large.
In addition to the members of the board, the mayor and the president/CEO of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce shall serve as ex officio members without the right to vote.
The advisory board shall elect from its members a chairperson, a vice chairperson and a secretary for a term of one year each.
The advisory board shall hold regular meetings at a time and place as determined by the board with all meetings open to the public and subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Law.
Members of the advisory board shall be appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council. The mayor shall initially appoint five members to one-year terms and five members to two-year terms with the terms that commenced Jan. 1. Thereafter members shall be appointed to two year-terms.
The duties of the board shall be to study and investigate ways and ways to promote conventions and tourism within the city; to make recommendations on how to provide visitors with activities to participate in while in the community; coordinate byway and wetlands activities; to serve in an advisory capacity to the council in its consideration of how to spend the transient guest tax revenues; to report to the council at such times as may be requested; and to support local activities which bring people to the community.
The convention and tourism fund shall receive distributions of money from the secretary of revenue as provided by state law.
The next CVB meeting will be at noon on March, 18 at the Event Center. The meeting is open to the public and people are encouraged to attend.