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On Friday, February 17, 2012, City Manager Steve Burkett, City Attorney Craig Ritchie, and Communications and Marketing Director Barbara Hanna, met with representatives from both of the local lavender associations in separate meetings.
The overall goal of the meetings was to establish a plan to support a successful Lavender Weekend with two associations and multiple events throughout the City. The City discussed some of the problems that were experienced last year and the plan that is being proposed to solve some of those problems.
At the meetings draft documents of the special event permit conditions and contracts for the upcoming Sequim Lavender Weekend events were reviewed. The City requires a special event permit for any event that disrupts the usual flow of activity in the City and sets conditions to ensure the safety of the public and to support the success of the event. In addition, as part of the City’s role in promoting tourism, the City is able to enter into a contract with non-profit organizations that are producing tourism related events that allows the City to provide funding for some of the costs of the event.
Because of the complexity of the Sequim Lavender Weekend events and to ensure that visitors to Sequim have the best possible experience during the weekend, the City of Sequim has added new conditions to the special event permit. A summary of those conditions follows:
Signage – each association must submit a signage proposal to the City by April 1, 2012 so that the City can coordinate a clear signage program between the two associations.
Websites – each association must provide a link on the homepage of any website they are using to promote their event to the City of Sequim Lavender Weekend page, which will have information on all of the lavender events taking place during the Lavender Weekend.
Information Booths – There will be seven information booths located at key locations throughout the City, plus the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center. Each association will staff each booth with a representative during the weekend. All information booth volunteers will be trained by the City and Chamber on the weekend events. Each booth will pass out a City prepared event map with all lavender related weekend events to each visitor.
Shuttle System – The City will coordinate a shuttle bus system to transport visitors to key locations throughout the city.
Outside Tour Bus Plan – each association will provide the city with a plan to better serve and coordinate the tour buses that come to the City from other locations, including a designated drop-off location, holding areas, other transportation for visitors if needed, permission from property owners that might be impacted.
Cost of City Services – an estimation of the costs to the City to support the events from both associations. Each association is responsible for their share of the cost, unless they have a contract with the City that may allow the City to provide funding for some of the costs of the events.
Timelines – the association will meet the performance timelines as established by the City.
In addition to the permit conditions, the City also reviewed new contracts with each association. The contract allows the City to fund some or all of the cost of City support to the weekend events.
The contract addresses two additional issues:
Banners - the City will provide advertising support to the associations by securing the banner space at the west end of the City. The content of the banner will be determined by the City.
Advertising and Promotion – the association shall promote Sequim Lavender Weekend in all of its advertising and all websites used in promotion, and shall link on the home page to the City’s Lavender Weekend page.
The association will assist the City in signage, verbal directions and information to promote the Lavender Weekend. The Association shall direct all of its officers, members, agents, contract agents and vendors not to mislead, misdirect or disparage any other participating lavender group or its members, agents, vendors or contract agents before or during the event.
The information was provided to each association and their input was requested. The Sequim Lavender Growers Association and Sequim Lavender Farmers Association are each reviewing the documents and will provide their feedback to the City by Friday, February 22, 2012. After that date, the City will issue the final permit conditions and contracts.
“We felt the meetings went well and we are feeling confident that we will be able to move forward with these plans in a positive manner,” commented City Manager Steve Burkett after the meetings concluded.