LOVES PARK (WREX) — For years, the City of Loves Park has paid the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to increase tourism, but that partnership is coming to an end.
In the course of a decade, Loves Park has paid nearly $1.5 million to the RACVB.
"We're not getting what we're paying for and therefore we're looking at doing it ourselves," John Jacobson, Ward 4 Alderman, says.
That means Loves Park is pulling out of its contract with the RACVB.
"The decision made Monday night to terminate the agreement with the visitors bureau is one that has basically been discussed among council members and staff for the last couple years," Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury explains.
"We're just trying to get the best bang for our buck," Jacobson adds.
For those bucks, RACVB got 80 percent of the hotel-motel tax revenue from Loves Park. The remaining 20 percent went back to the city, but that'll change starting mid-November.
"100 percent of that tourism tax will come to us," Mayor Jury says.
Even though hotel-motel tax revenue returns are down 20 percent overall because of COVID-19, the city will still have extra money it hasn't had for almost ten years. Mayor Jury says he's developing a plan for where that money could be spent.
"I would say we're going to earmark them to promote the city, but also work with organizations that are within the City of Loves Park, for example, the park district," Mayor Jury says.
The mayor says he is open to a new partnership with RACVB down the road, but for now, the city's taking its own path.
13 WREX did reach out to the RACVB for comment, but it did not return our request.