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