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CVB ahead for Woodbury?

Woodbury plans to move forward with a feasibility study to help officials figure out whether the city needs a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

City Council decided last week that a study by an outside marketing consultant would be beneficial before it decides whether or not to implement a CVB, something that would potentially be run by an independent board.

The study would cost $16,000, City Administrator Clint Gridley told the council on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

He said staff selected finalist Zeitgeist Consulting of Madison, Wis., to conduct the study.

The council had numerous questions on how CVBs work, why cities implement them and the key to their long-term sustainability.

Consultant Bill Geist said in an interview that cities utilize CVBs to market their assets to consumers and groups in order to attract new, non-resident spending to the community.

He added that a solid, multi-year funding stream to ensure sales and marketing initiatives continue are key to long-term sustainability.

As for what a CVB would look like, he said it’s up to the city to decide.

“The best CVBs are those that are designed to meet the needs of their communities,” he said. “There is no one-size-fits-all model. If there is to be a Woodbury CVB, it should be designed to meet your community’s needs.”

Another decision the city would have to make is in regard to a lodging tax to be charged to all hotels as part of the CVB model.

City officials say a CVB would market the community as a whole as well as its hotels and amenities for large public gatherings, conventions and regional events.

Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said so far she’s received support from the business and lodging community regarding a CVB.

The council is set to vote on the contract with Zeitgeist at Wednesday’s meeting.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.