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Visitors Bureau decries decision

September 28, 2013

The Warren County Visitors Bureau has taken swift action in response to the announcement that it would not be the county’s tourism promotion agency next year....

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Oct-01-13 12:39 AM

Why not ask the bed tax payers who has brought more tourism to Warren? The WCCBI is ready to go under and needs the money to survive. The Gran Fondo race they spoke of as one of their events had less than a dozen riders which included the CEO himself, how much money was spent on that event? How many people did it bring to Warren? I would love to see the financial records for the WCCBI. I think we would all know where the money is going, NOT TOURISM. As for being open, do you think the WCCBI is going to be open on the weekends/evenings? Have ample parking? Have information from every tourist attraction in Warren? Who are we kidding, they wont even find the place. This was a bad move, someone just got a raise. Not only is the WCCBI chasing businesses out of town now it will be the tourist. Soon Warren will be a ghost town. I think you need to ask yourself what the visitors bureau really does? You might be surprised to find out how much they bring to our community.

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Sep-30-13 12:04 PM

I think the events are fine and some of them such as the canoe races to spark some economic impact. The Macker has little impact. It brings people from Jamestown, Corry etc. who bring their own coolers and buy lunch from regional vendors at the food festival or they run nearby to Perkins. Those events are good events, don't get me wrong, and they do add quality of life value to our community. My main point of disagreement is that the WCCBI is really very ineffective at their core mission when looking at their performance, how many times they take the initiative at economic development and their energy level when compared to similar organizations or IDA's. On events the person who is charged with that area does a nice job.

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Sep-30-13 7:51 AM

Brazil, Gus macker brings probably more people into warren than the visitors center does as a whole but let's not forget the many other events the they either host or help with such as the archery or canoe races which were both national events. They also help or host many of our local events as well as partnering or helping groups that are expanding services in the anf which also brings in tourism. Many, including members, do not always realize what all the wccbi does because it has its hands on so much in the county. Its job is not only to try to bring in industry but promote what is here too. As far as promotion of the area, the wccbi has been doing a far better job than the visitors center for years.

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Sep-29-13 6:16 PM

This whole thing seems a bit mean-spirited. Wasn't there a better way? The ill will this creates will last for years. What were the Commissioners thinking?

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Sep-29-13 5:46 PM

SOS - I'm comfortable with my knowledge and the fact that when I lived in Warren my company belonged to the Chamber and I went to several of their meetings. Many of their events bring little outside economic impact of any note - i.e. Ribfest, Gus Macker, etc. except lunch at Perkins. I think the events are great but the WCCBI is not an engine for economic development and their records speaks for itself. Lastly the show I'm referring to is their annual awards dinner. Go sometime and see all the job creation they celebrate. I've been to several of them, when you've attended a few get back to me. By the way I'm no big supporter of the Visitor Center either. Having two orgs is ridiculous but choosing the WCCBI when they can't even be successful at their core mission isn't the answer either.

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Sep-29-13 8:07 AM

This is funny. For years I have heard complaints about the visitors center. And locals have been furious about taxes going to it. This is the best decision made. The wccbi does not put on one show a year but they work to bring most all of our larger events to the county and many are for not for just local residents such as the canoe races. The events the wccbi have been hosting bring in far more than the visitors center. If you don't know what the wccbi does, which is obvious that this here don't, then find out before you post.

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Sep-28-13 7:21 PM

WCCBI should be working TOGETHER with the visitor bureau to promote tourists. The hijack of tax dollars is just wrong. I think the more bang for the buck come from the tourist group and not WCCBI.

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Sep-28-13 4:36 PM

the WCCBI puts on a show once a year in which they laud new businesses that have created a half dozen jobs and congratulate themselves for a job well done. I've been to 3 or 4 of these and I've never been able to figure out what they've actually accomplished over the year. The hiring of a video store owner to be the executive director years ago instead of searching for a highly qualified marketing/public relations professional should have been a clue that the those who control the chamber had no interest in job creation of any note, rather it was just maintaining the status quo. The Commissioner's action, if what is reported is true, is even in today's age a blatant political move without any evident due process.

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Sep-28-13 11:29 AM

"Has had discussions about the building" (Visitor Bureau building). What colossal nerve on the part of what could only be described as the action of pirates with the assistance of the County. The commissioners in their stupidity will allow the WCCBI squander the bed tax; which is part of their objective and they will spin fantasies about how it supposedly benefits tourism. People-don't let the chamber get away with this.

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Sep-28-13 11:24 AM

Visitor services should be consolidated and the WCCBTI has done the best job promoting Warren County in recent years. They should take over the operation of the visitor center and have it open some evenings and Saturday.

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Sep-28-13 9:57 AM

Great comment Frugal. Couldn't have said it any better.

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Sep-28-13 9:30 AM

Something really stinks about this whole situation. Can someone say political favor and payoff? The WCCBI does not deserve to be granted extra money and responsabilities when they are failing at the main task they are to be doing, bringing in new businesses.

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Sep-28-13 9:08 AM

So the Commissioners are improving the Saturday closures by completely shutting down the Visitors' Center? They have sabotaged tourism in the county ever since they hi-jacked a grant for the Allegheny Musarium. They even charged the Visitors' Center a property tax! If that wasn't bold enough to shut down tourism they then gave all the Visitors' Center's income away. It's all about Oil and Timber and the banks that profit from it, folks. Wake up, the Commissioners do not represent the voters, they represent big money. The oligarchy has spoken and there is nothing we can do about it. Tourism, R.I.P.

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Sep-28-13 9:03 AM

WCCBI,was formed to help bring new business and industry to Warren Co.I would ask " Have they failed miserably"? It appears that much of their monies go to salaries.How much are they paid per year? and by taking the room tax and calling 15% of their budget for tourism.That money could then be used for administrative needs and salaries.The visitors bureau board is mostly run by volunteers. The WCCBI has never been in the tourism marketing business. They should perfect what they are supposed to do in the first place..The visitors bureau is not a visitor center its job is promotion.. thru things like Pennsylvania wilds.Their is a need for both they shouldn't be 1.WCCBTI?

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Sep-28-13 8:07 AM

The public has been crying foul over the visitors center for years because the hours that it is open is not friendly to...visitors. It promotes some of what is happening in the area, not all events. It may bring in some tourism but not close to the scale of the wccbi. The events that the wccbi bring in or host actually bring more people to the area....promoting it. Its all about who can give more bang for their buck and its not the visitors center that has refused to adjust its hours of operation to include weekends when visitors are more likely to need to stop at their center.

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