...but was I the only one that thought the "official line" on Dave Nolan's departure (after two months) from the Tulsa CVB seemed a little odd?
I mean, while there is no doubt that the commute between Cleveland and Tulsa was a grind and that the time spent away from Chris was uncomfortable, those that know him know that Dave is the consumate professional. And the story just didn't feel right.
And, of course, it wasn't...as we now learn from USAE. Instead, it appears to be a personality clash between the Chamber CEO and his new VP. A personality clash that ended up with the Chamber CEO apparently unilaterally dispatching Dave.
Which, with the CVB being a Division of the Chamber, is totally within his right.
And which is why, with a few notable exceptions, Destination Marketing Organizations should not be divisions of Chambers of Commerce.
Because a destination like Tulsa just forefited a guy that has had considerable success in the "bigs"...and that they should have realized was so out of their league. But there he was. Ready to take them to the next level.
And now he's not...because somebody didn't like the questions that Dave was asking.
The response from a legislator that actually sits on the Assembly Tourism Committee: "The reality is, can you recoup that money? Sure you can. But we're in a fiscal situation that asking for additional tourism dollars is going to be very difficult."
Not if you man up and start working with your peers to understand that increasing the Tourism Budget by $2 million will result in at least twice as much tax revenue flowing back into your State coffers (and I'm being waaay conservative). I mean, seriously...if the money can be recouped, then WTF? Why is this going to be so very difficult?
Isn't it time that somebody takes a stand? Or are all the incumbants just too scared to do what's right as they desperately try to hold onto their seats in the face of growing citizen discontent with the status quo?
And, yeah...the back of our State Quarter pretty much sucked.
And, in Wisconsin, Tom Barrett suggested the way to increase the Tourism budget was to offer permit-free weekends for outdoor enthusiasts and take the money earned from the influx of visitors to increase the budget. Except, err, there's no way for the State to identify and capture that revenue. I like the free weekend concept from a marketing perspective...but there is no revenue bump to the State in the strategy.
Now, challenger Scott Walker has weighed in with his Tourism Plan, saying that the State must reopen its Visitors Centers. And the way to do that would be like how he helped save a skating rink...by bidding out the rights for a Starbucks to locate at the rink.
Except, umm, Federal Transportation regulations prohibit the sale of virtually anything from Interstate Welcome Centers. If it was legal...the folks at Wisconsin Tourism would have been all over that earlier this year. Hell, we would have been all over it in the '90s.
Like Barrett's brainstorm, I like the way Walker thinks. But you'd think someone on his staff would vet these ideas before they eminate from the candidate's mouth.
Guys? You want our attention? It's what you plan to do to increase the Tourism budget.
So that we can generate even more tax dollars to bail the State out of the hole it's in.
Kankakee IL...population 25,561. In the shadow of Chicago. Unofficial slogan: "It's not the end of the world...but you can see it from here."
And, my home town. My first job in destination marketing. Birthplace of my daughters. And, as Michael Stanley would sing, "this old town is where I learned about loving, this old town is where I learned to hate...this old town taught me that it's never too late."
Just enjoyed hanging out with Claude Legris of the Fort Smith AR CVB this week. He joins my friend Karen Raymore of the Hocking Hills OH CVB and myself as kids who grew up within years (and miles) of each other, dreaming of anything BUT a career in destination marketing.
And yet here we are. Loving this incredible life.
Is there a City that has produced a greater per capita number of DMO Executives? Could it be Kankakee?
And, if so...why?
And, because there are very few occassions that I'll get to link to Steve Goodman, I'll take this one. I suppose you have to have a background in Chicago to get the humor...but the "Lincoln Park Pirates" was always one of my favorites from this troubadoor that was taken from us far too early. Enjoy.