Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
WILL SECESSION BE A PLUS OR MINUS FOR THE
HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?L.A., Valley to Vote on Split
Valley volley: Should San Fernando secede?
A ballot initiative in Los Angeles scheduled for
Nov. 6 will ask voters whether the San Fernando Valley should
secede from L.A. to form its own city. Meanwhile, those in the
tourism and meetings industries are trying to discern whether such
a move is the right one for their businesses.
Perhaps the number-one concern among area suppliers involves
whether a break from L.A. and its convention and visitors bureau
would boost the marketing dollars allocated to the valley.
Advocates for the change, like Bruce Ackerman, president and CEO
of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, argue that the
Los Angeles CVB ignores the valley in its promotions, even though
the area contributes about 16 percent more than $10 million per
year to L.A.’s total hotel occupancy tax, according to the
“They don’t do anything outside of promoting L.A. in general.
That would be akin to New York City being in charge of New Jersey’s
tourist promotion,” said Ackerman.
The 360-square-mile valley district has its own San Fernando
Valley Conference and Visitors Bureau, but it receives no money
from the city of L.A. Its initiatives and staff of one are funded
by the alliance.
Area hoteliers are similarly displeased with the L.A. bureau yet
hesitant to go it alone. Terry Alder, general manager of the Warner
Center Marriott at Woodland Hills, would like to see L.A. ramp up
its marketing efforts for the Valley before he supports
Michael Collins, executive vice president of the L.A. bureau,
said a split would only hurt the Valley. “You sell the product the
way the consumer wants to buy it. The consumer wants L.A.,” he
Little would change immediately if the bill passes, said
Ackerman. A grace period until July 1, 2003, would allow the new
city to organize, form a city council and, hopefully, a new
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