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City to consider tourism promoter

— The City Council will be asked to review a proposal for a tourism promoter.

The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee yesterday recommended city officials negotiate with Grant J. Hunt Co. of Yakima for tourism promotional services after reviewing two proposals.

The committee also placed a $20,000 cap on the lodging tax dollars that can be spent on the proposed contract for the remainder of the year.

The original request for proposals, published in September, included general duties to “direct and manage the promotion, marketing, and advertising designed and implemented to attract tourists to the City of Sunnyside.”

The request also included a list of specific duties, including marketing, attending tourism trade shows, creating a database to track the number of visitors in the city, conducting city tours, promoting the city in the region and nationally and reporting all its activities to the city.

Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley submitted the other proposal yesterday.

It was rejected because it did not meet the request for proposal requirements.

Committee member Tom Denlea said the Transformation Sunnyside proposal addressed an overall need for the city.

“This proposal seems to be about making a plan for tourism,” he said. “The other proposal (Grant J. Hunt Co.) is all about executing the plan.”

City Manager Don Day agreed with Denlea.

He said the Transformation Sunnyside proposal does not meet specific needs set out by the committee in its request.

The tourism promoter recommendation will be forwarded to the county for further review.

In other business, the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee is recommending the council approve funding for the Summer Ale Festival.

Festival organizers requested $3,500 from lodging tax funds to promote the second summer event at Centennial Square.

Festival representative Jay Hester told the committee last year’s event was a success.

Proceeds from the event supported youth activities, including a traveling exhibit from the Burke Museum and a concession stand at South Hill Park, he said.

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