City tourism audit critical of Experience Scottsdale’s high pay, lack of focus on city

by John Washington on December 2, 2016

City leaders are preparing to renew their contract with Experience Scottsdale, which is in the last year of a five-year agreement. When the contract expires in June 2017, the city will likely have paid more than $42 million over the term.

It’s worth noting that this is yet another example of a public/private partnership, wherein (as Bob Littlefield says), the public pays for it and the private side profits. And the “regional” nature of the CVB (nee Experience Scottsdale), allows for some sloppy accounting because of the funding provided by non-Scottsdale entities.

Yes, these expenditures are generated by the bed tax, which the hoteliers collect and remit to the city. But, contrary to what Scottsdale city council member (and Wells Fargo VP) Linda Milhaven has explicitly asserted, this money IS taxpayer money, and our elected officials have a fiduciary duty to make sure it isn’t squandered.

Unfortunately, Scottsdale mayor Jim Lane and the sold-out council majority are ultimately the folks who approve the CVB contract, and give the CVB free rein with the money. It will be another two years before we’ll be able to rectify the mistakes made by the voters this time around, but we should keep the focus (and heat) on where it belongs.

Source: City tourism audit critical of Experience Scottsdale’s high pay, lack of focus on city

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Littlefield December 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

For years I have been trying to tell Scottsdale voters their city tax dollars are being siphoned off by a variety of politically favored special interests that have managed, by funding the election of a compliant city council majority, to enrich themselves while remaining unaccountable to the public.Everything is NOT fine in Scottsdale city government!

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Terry Montalvo December 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Why, just why is the question? Why not renegotiate and see what better value the citizens can receive for their tax dollars?

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John Washington December 5, 2016 at 3:20 pm

They have a no-bid contract, just like the Cultural Council, the Museum of the West, the Charros (Scottsdale Stadium), the PGA (for the TPC Scottsdale course) and virtually every other city contract.

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