Duluth councilors move forward with outsourcing tourism promotion | www.WDIO.com

Duluth councilors move forward with outsourcing tourism promotion

Duluth councilors move forward with outsourcing tourism promotion Photo: WDIO-TV/File

WDIO
Updated: August 16, 2021 10:46 PM
Created: August 16, 2021 07:30 PM

Duluth city councilors have voted to move forward with outsourcing tourism marketing to a Minneapolis-based company.

The council voted 7-1 to allow city administration to negotiate a contract with Bellmont Partners. Councilor Joel Sipress voted against it, and Councilor Zack Filipovich abstained from the vote because he is on the Visit Duluth Board. 

Mayor Emily Larson proposed giving a $1.8-million contract to Bellmont Partners and its partner Lawrence & Schiller for advertising and promotional services and a $400,000 contract to Visit Duluth for convention coordination and visitor center operations. 

Councilors tabled the resolution related to Visit Duluth for further discussion.

Before the meeting, Bellmont Partners and Lawrence & Schiller answered councilors' questions about among other things, maintaining a local feel. 

"We absolutely are committed to working with local boots on the ground contacts. That's one of the things we really pride ourselves on," Tracy Saathoff with Lawrence & Schiller said. "We have had some videographers and photographers already start reaching out. But one of the things we really want to do is make sure that we're connecting with other local businesses to help lift them up."

There has been backlash and concern from citizens, local business owners, and other tourism organizations around Minnesota who say Visit Duluth does a good job and they didn't have a say in a change. 

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