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Archive for Friday, October 12, 2007

Visitors Bureau readies for its new offices

October 12, 2007

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The Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau will move at the end of this month to new offices at 947 N.H.

The move is another step toward removing the bureau from operating under the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. The bureau will begin operating as part of a new nonprofit management organization, Destination Management Inc., that will include the Freedom's Frontier Heritage Area.

Judy Billings will continue as director of the visitors bureau, while also managing the heritage area as a separate entity. Incorporation bylaws for Destination Management are being written by an attorney and could be finished this week, Billings said.

The move received approval from the Chamber and the heritage area board. The Lawrence City and Douglas County commissions support the move, but details are still being worked out.

A city contract is being prepared that will allow a portion of taxes paid by hotel visitors to be transferred to the visitors bureau for promotional activities, as was the case under a city contract with the chamber. Private and public funds are being solicited for operation of the heritage area.

Other than Billings, there is no heritage staff. She isn't sure when there will be.

"I don't know exactly what the staff will look like," Billings said. "We'll just grow it as we can."

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