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Appointees to new CVB Board green-lighted

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    Assuming the Crookston City Council gives its final stamp of approval when it meets next week, the rebooted Crookston Visitors’ Bureau will very soon be officially off and running and will be able to invest revenue generated by the local lodging tax.

    The CVB, still months away from securing official non-profit status, is affiliating with the City of Crookston to expedite its ability to be an official agency and not simply the informal group of stakeholders that has been meeting for several weeks, with local hotel owners spending their own money on various initiatives.

    The council’s Ways and Means Committee last week approved appointees proposed to Mayor Dale Stainbrook for the new CVB Board of Directors. The idea behind the new board is to give hotel and motel owners a louder voice when it comes to how lodging tax revenue is invested, with the hope being that events can be promoted that put more “heads on beds” at local lodging facilities.

    The council still needs to approve the board next week.

    “Then we can start moving forward,” said Crookston Inn & Convention Center general manager/owner Laurie Stahlecker, who’s served to date as the informal leader of the group.

    Voting members on the proposed new board include Stahlecker, AmericInn by Wyndham general manager Cory Dallager, Drafts Sports Bar and Grill owner Brent Melsa, Happy Joe’s manager Brooke Panzer, and True Value owner Dean Adams. Non-voting/ex-officio board members include Kristy Swanson of the Crookston Blue Line Club, Nate Lubarski of the Crookston Youth Basketball Association, Crookston High School Activities Director Greg Garmen, Rotary Club President Bob Magsam (representing service clubs), Nell DeBoer of the University of Minnesota Crookston, Jess Bengtson of the Downtown Crookston Development Partnership, and Cobblestone Inn general manager Lisa Tadd.

    The board will also include two council members. Jake Fee and Steve Erickson have agreed to serve on the board.