CVB Resolution Supporting Meetings at Hotels Under Consideration

CATHEDRAL CITY —  The Coachella Valley tourism industry has been devastated by the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic, standing to lose over 22,000 jobs, according to the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). As a result of restricted operations of hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and the like, the local economy is projected to decline by $3.1 billion.

Against the backdrop, during the upcoming meeting of the CVB Board scheduled for Sept. 25, the
board will consider a resolution asking the state to provide a variance to allow hotels in the region to host meetings following the Red Level guidelines for indoor dining in restaurants. The guidelines include a maximum attendance of 25% of capacity or no more than 100 persons with face coverings and social distancing required.

Councilmember Ernesto Gutierrez, who serves as Cathedral City’s representative on the JPA Board
for the CVB. has requested a discussion item on the Wednesday, Sept. 23 Study Session agenda to allow the Council to provide feedback on the proposed resolution prior to him voting on it.

This item is presented for information, discussion and possible direction to Gutierrez.

On Aug. 8, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” which is a gradual process for reopening businesses in California. The Blueprint is a four-tier, color-coded system for business reopening based on each county’s specific COVID-19 case rates and percentage of positive tests.

The Blueprint does not indicate when meetings of any size will be allowed in the State. Local businesses that have meetings scheduled in the first and second quarter of 2021 face having to cancel such meetings as the State has provided no indication or guidance.

According to the CVB, meetings of 25  or more attendee are occurring safely and effectively in a majority of states such as Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columba, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming;

Group meetings represent an average of 60% of the Coachella Valley’s historical impact and are critical to the recovery and long-term success of our economy; meetings bring business to the Coachella Valley,
providing work to the business owners and residents who depend on this business for their continued operations and personal livelihood, according to the CVB.

in an effort to address the impact of the closure of conventions and meetings on Coachella Valley tourism and recognizing that meeting professionals require time to plan effectively and safely for meetings, the Board of Directors wants the to direct the President/CEO of the CVB to lobby local, county and state officials to provide for reasonable and clear reopening guidelines for meetings in the Coachella Valley.


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