Council members Baird, Fee vote against

    Crookston City Council approved a marketing partnership with local hotels for the year at Monday’s meeting despite two council members voting against the resolution. Discussions for publicity efforts with the “Belong in Crookston” marketing initiative began a month ago with the Ways and Means Committee and would allow the four Crookston hotels: Cobblestone Inn, Crookston Inn & Convention Center, AmericInn, and Golf Terrace Motel a portion of $18,500 in the form of reimbursement from the City for some of their costs for advertising if they utilized the brand.

    Ward 5 council member Dale Stainbrook opened the conversation saying it was a good plan for a one-year deal and that the hotels have “struggled a bit” this last winter.

    “What are the consequences if one of them has to shut their doors?” Stainbrook asked rhetorically. “This is a good thing if it helps them out.”

    “This is a one-year deal, not three or five,” added Ward 2 council member Steve Erickson. “It’s a good learning curve for the city as far as advertising and marketing.”

    Ward 1 council member Jake Fee and At-Large council member Bobby Baird seemed to go the other way saying they are concerned the city won’t see a return on their investment.

    “I want to help them out, but I think there are other ways to help them with a problem that will still be there tomorrow,” Fee explained. “This is kind of wasting tax payers money. There’s got to be a reason for people to come here.”

    “We’re almost handcuffing hotels to do this a certain way,” he added.

    Erickson reiterated that all four hotels were “for it” and that they’re all struggling because of increased property taxes.

    “There’s got to be a grander scheme,” explained At-Large council member Bob Quanrud. “If this is a one-year deal, I’d probably go with it.”

    “We need to keep this community popping.” he added.