Niagara Gazette — The county and its lead tourism agency have reached an agreement in principle on an three-year service contract extension.
Representatives from the Niagara County Legislature and the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. announced the pending deal jointly in a release issued Friday.
The release indicated that the extension will be effective June 1 and run through June 1, 2017. It will not be finalized until it is formally approved by county lawmakers and the NTCC's Board of Directors. The current agreement was set to expire June 18.
"We greatly value our working relationship with Niagara County as they are a vital partner in our efforts to promote and market tourism attractions and venues locally, nationally and internationally," said NTCC board Chairman Frank Strangio. "We look forward to collaborating with the county and all of our partners and stakeholders to enhance our efforts to grow tourism here."
Last year, Republicans in the GOP-controlled county legislature rejected a proposed 10-year extension with NTCC amid questions about the agency's transparency and accountability. The legislature eventually agreed to a one-year extension.
The three-year deal announced Friday stipulates that the county will continue to pay the NTCC for its services from bed tax revenues collected under the Niagara County Hotel Room Occupancy Tax Law. The NTCC agrees to pay for a "destination deficit study" to look at overall product and programming that will benefit the local tourism industry.
"Tourism is critically important to the Niagara County economy and the proposed agreement not only continues our commitment to the NTCC but also how we can work together to determine improvements to grow the industry now and in the future," said Legislature Chairman William Ross, C-Wheatfield.