By Raymond Neupert/South Metro Observer
WESTON, Wis. – Weston’s tourism commission will continue to operate without a contract with the Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau, amid concerns over communication and data sharing issues.
The matter came up for discussion at at a meeting Monday night in Weston. The commission has been without a contract with the CVB since the end of 2016, and Weston village administrator Daniel Guild says any further negotiation with the CVB’s board and management has broken down.
Guild says Weston sent payments to the CVB in the first two quarters of 2017 out of good faith despite a lack of contract, but that negotiations ended last year.
Guild says the tourism commission sent a new contract to the CVB that included language that would require more information sharing and audits, but that the CVB sent back a marked up version of the contract that removed much of that language. The CVB, in turn, has not responded to repeated efforts to contact them to return to negotiations, Guild said.
That lack of communication is puzzling to Guild, who is expressing frustration over the stalemate.
“I do not have any data on how their events improve hotel stays in the village of Weston,” Guild said. “I usually don’t have to beg someone to come and discuss things to give them my money.”
Rothschild village administrator Gary Olsen also addressed the commission, relating his own difficulties of handling contract negotiations with the management at the CVB. That negotiation with the Rothschild tourism commission resulted in legal letters being traded with the CVB along with threats of litigation.
Village officials eventually reached an agreement with the CVB last month that would include more oversight on how money was being spent to benefit tourism in Rothschild.
Commission member Joyce Elliott represents Weston hoteliers, and says that the discussions in Rothschild and Weston have some hoteliers spooked.
“I do know that the Rothschild hotels and the Weston hotels are very concerned about not being part of the CVB,” Elliott said. “The hotel owners and some of the hotels are upset that they were not involved in the decision at all, and at the communication problem between the two groups.”
Elliott says she’d even heard from some of the owners that they were going to withhold property taxes if the village did not return to the CVB agreement. She also stated that the hotels and the CVB regularly trade information on hotel room visits and how business is doing.
Guild says he would really like to see that data as well.
“It’s a conundrum to me. There is some information generated on a regular basis, and I’m confused as to why that data is not prepared, synthesized and provided to us,” he noted.
Members of the CVB staff did not attend Monday night’s meeting.