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Yorkville offers terms to stay with Aurora tourism bureau

Updated: December 19, 2012 11:54AM

YORKVILLE — Aldermen have approved what could be a five-year contract with the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau sought the five-year pact, but Yorkville aldermen have proposed making it for three years, with an opt-out clause for the city after the third and fourth year.

It remains to be seen if the visitors bureau will accept those terms.

Although one alderman, Diane Teeling, wanted the City Council to approve a full, five-year contract, even she voted in the end for the offer of three years with two opt-out years, which was approved unanimously.

The compromise assuaged some aldermen who said the city has not been getting tourism promotion value out of the bureau.

Alderman Carlo Colosimo, an outspoken critic of the visitors bureau, said in the 1990s, North Aurora was given a similar deal.

“We’re not asking for anything that hasn’t been done before,” he said. “We ask for three years, see if they do a good job, and if they don’t, we move on.”

Alderman Chris Funkhouser is the Yorkville council’s representative on the bureau board, and new representatives from two Yorkville motels and the Raging Waves water park give the city four representatives on the board.

“If they (the bureau) do their job right, this is, in essence, a five-year term,” he said.

Chris Hamilton, visitors bureau director, has been working for the past year to shore up relationships throughout the nine cities that belong to the bureau.

For that reason, the tourism providers in Yorkville — the hotel owners and Raging Waves — asked the city to go ahead with another five-year term. At one point, aldermen looked at having a local market company take over tourism marketing for the city, but the hotel owners and Raging Waves blanched at that.

They said the bureau gives a much wider reach for promotion, far outside the city and even the state.

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