Executive Director of the Visitor Convention Bureau, Richard Goldman, will present his report to members of the St Johns County Tourist Development Council Monday; local Historic City News reporters have been observing year-end activities of the private agency that is substantially funded by local-option sales taxes.
The St Johns County Board of Commissioners appoints members of the Tourist Development Council; which has, in the past, been the roosting place for “volunteer” board members with a financial interest in the decision making process.
The TDC brokers the responsibility for destination marketing, via contract, to the St Johns County Visitors Convention Bureau, Inc.; an independent, not-for-profit corporation; organized in September of 1995. Goldman’s board includes Chair, Robert O’Neill; Vice-Chair, David Mariotti; and, officers John Fraser, president; Jeffrey Oliasomi, secretary; Tina Klinkenberg, treasurer.
Goldman will report on both the Ponce 500 initiative underway during 2013, and the 450th Commemoration for 2015. According to a published agenda, the VCB has updated their marketing plans to include the City of St Augustine Picasso event.
According to Goldman, more “Ponce 500” stories are appearing in media outlets; including promotion for the 30°8’ marker at the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, commemorating the Ponce de Leon landing party on April 2, 1513.
The recent “Top Chef” cook-off hosted 600 people, Goldman reported. The event was able to raise a charitable donation of over $3,000 for the local Home Again St Johns program.
Another long-term initiative of the VCB, has been working with the Northeast Florida Regional Airport at St Augustine to lure a scheduled carrier to replace Skybus. Goldman will update the Council on their progress.