A five-year contract extension with the county of Los Angeles for the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) was recommended for approval at the county Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting Wednesday, Nov. 17 in Marina del Rey.

The new five-year term would cover Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2015, resulting in a $227,400 annual payment to the visitors bureau for promotional services, as well as $30,000 for the seven-day-a-week staffing of the Marina del Rey Visitors Center, according to county documentation. In addition, up to $10,000 would be funded annually for joint promotional projects with the county.

Each payment by the county to the bureau is contingent upon full participation by every hotel/motel in Marina del Rey through a surcharge of one percent applied to their room bills.

Beverly Moore, executive director of the bureau, gave a presentation at the meeting, telling the audience that while there is not a lot of discretionary spending due to the economy, tourism has improved. The Marina del Rey hotel occupancy rate was up 86 percent in August, with an average of 77 percent for the year, compared to 68 percent in 2009, Moore said.

The hotel bed tax is an important revenue generator for the county, she said.

“There are 1,000 rooms that need to be filled every night, and that’s why revenue is so high on ground leases,” she noted.

Moore also discussed the successful outreach the visitors bureau has been conducting via Facebook, travel writers, aggressive public relations, broadcasting and Twitter.

Several business leaders in the Marina praised Moore’s accomplishments at the meeting, commending her hard work during her tenure and the marked success she has brought to the CVB.

The contract extension will be reviewed for approval by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

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