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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Visit Spokane announces new partnership model

Jerry Willard blows his sax in front of the new Visit Spokane signs on the downtown visitors information center in Riverfront Park on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.  (DAN PELLE/The Spokesman-Review)
Jerry Willard blows his sax in front of the new Visit Spokane signs on the downtown visitors information center in Riverfront Park on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (DAN PELLE/The Spokesman-Review)

Visit Spokane is launching a new community benefit membership model that changes the dues structure for members of the organization.

Visit Spokane, the area’s tourism agency, announced the new membership model at its annual meeting Thursday. The new membership model eliminates membership dues for restaurants, retailers and attractions while simplifying, or in some cases, reducing dues for hotels and service-referral businesses, the organization said in an email.

“We found our old model to be antiquated and restrictive,” Meg Winchester, Visit Spokane president and CEO, said in a statement. “So, the hope is that by restructuring the way we do business, we will create better partnerships with Spokane’s hospitality community, which will make for a more engaging and marketable business model.”

Visit Spokane will lose nearly $149,000 in revenue by implementing the new partnership model. The organization is planning to recoup the lost revenue through “strategic partnerships with hospitality businesses,” according to the email.

The organization will be offering advertising services and businesses intelligence tools for businesses to gain insight on consumer behavior, said James Rand, chief marketing officer at Visit Spokane.

“We are doing this to not only stabilize our organization, but more importantly to give opportunities to hospitality businesses that have been drastically impacted (by COVID-19),” Rand said. “We are trying to relieve any financial burdens they may face going into 2021.”

Visit Spokane’s new community partnership model will go into effect Jan. 1.

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