News

Lebanon County searching for new tourism promotion agency

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 23, 2014 3:00 AM

(Lebanon) -- Lebanon County is searching for a new group to promote its tourism efforts.

County commissioners have cut the cord with the Lebanon Valley Expo Center and Fairgrounds, after questions about transparency and fairness.

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In the next three months, the board hopes to draw up a plan for an agency with more oversight and promotes all of Lebanon County.

The Expo Center had been responsible for tourism promotion for the past decade.

But, a recent study questioned potential conflicts of interest, and recommended a new board of directors get appointed.

"The expo has earned a seat at the table, but not the only seat," says Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz. She takes partial responsibility for the lack of oversight.

"What I would like to see is representatives from the hotel industry, the Commissioners, the Expo, a farmer, the Chamber of Commerce."

"Membership inclusion and growth is a goal that somehow we could've done better with. Because there are several new hotels on the northern end of the county, obviously driven by demand, it was market driven. Because of all the visitors to the Fort Indiantown Gap for training."

Dennis Grumbine, head of the Expo Center, was heavily criticized in the study commissioned by the county, but when reached, declined to comment based on advice from attorneys.

Funding for the county's tourism promotion agency come from hotel taxes, which reached about $125,000 last year.

Published in Lebanon, News

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