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Articles

Tourism District contract renewed for three years

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Ojai Valley News photo by Andra Belknap
Ojaians spilled out of the Ojai City Council Chambers March 28, watching the meeting unfold on television in the lobby.
Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
In front of a crowd that spilled outside the council chambers March 28, the Ojai City Council voted 3-2 to approve the renewal of the Ojai Tourism Improvement District (OTID) for a term of three years with a 1.5 percent assessment on local hoteliers to fund the activities of the Ojai Visitors Bureau.
Mayor Johnny Johnston and Councilwoman Suza Francina voted in opposition to the measure, preferring a term of two years with an assessment of one percent.
The Council also voted to move 15 percent of OTID's proposed marketing budget to fund a traffic study and an occupancy-impact study to further understand how tourism effects the community.
“We're basing a lot of decisions on our gut and emotions and we need facts,” said Councilman Randy Haney, who suggested the studies.
“To me, the whole community is up in arms over traffic. The most important thing we can do is a traffic study to see if tourism is the culprit or if it's a multitude of factors,” he said.

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