News Update: Needles, CA: Needles City Council unanimously voted to meet with the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center to create contract for Needles Visitor Center.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Source: City of Needles’ City Clerk’s Office (Information):

Needles, California: Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 to meet with the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center to create contract for Needles Visitor Center.

The unanimously vote occurred during the Needles City Council Meeting regarding the selecting of a preferred vendor in establishing and managing services for the Needles Visitor Center.

The City of Needles received two bids to be selected as the preferred vendor for the Needles Visitor Center, the Needles Chamber of Commerce and Needles Tourism and Visitor Center which changed their name from the Needles Downtown Business Alliance.

According to the Staff Report from the City of Needles, at the November 14, 2017 City Council meeting the Chamber of Commerce requested that the City fund or partially fund the establishment of a visitor center in the El Garces that would be operated by the Chamber of Commerce. On November 28, the City Council appointed Vice Mayor Jeff Williams, and Councilors Belt and Hazelwood to an ad-hoc Council Subcommittee to investigate the establishment of a visitor center in the El Garces.

On June 11, 2019 the City Council approved in the budget $24,400 which is tied into the Visitor Center and/or commencing with El Garces Construction and entering into a MOU with the Needles Chamber of Commerce.

At the October 27, 2020 City Council meeting City Staff was given direction to develop a scope of work and initiate a Request for Proposal process for management services of the Needles Visitor Center. Proposers were requested to provide a clear vision of program, an outlined budget request, and have the financial ability to complete the necessary tenant improvements inside of the Historic El Garces Train Depot to construct the Needles Visitor Center.

On December 23, 2020 an invitation to bid was advertised for a three (3) year contract for management services of the Needles Visitor Center, with a bid opening on February 5, 2021. We received two (2) bids:

  • Needles Chamber of Commerce, 1,200 sq. ft. (Annual base fee for Year 1 $59,180.11, Year’s 2 &
    3 $50,271.56)
  • Needles Tourism and Visitor Center, Inc. 875 sq. ft. (Annual base fee $24,996)

Both proposers are very familiar with the City of Needles and have worked with the City over the years. Each proposal focuses on promoting local businesses through events and marketing utilizing a volunteer base.

On February 11, 2021 Mayor Williams and Councilmember Belt of the ad hoc Council Subcommittee met to review the request for proposal and reviewed the proposals submitted by the two proposers. On February 12, 2021 Mayor Williams and Councilmember Belt of the ad hoc Council Subcommittee interviewed both RFP proposers.

According to the Staff Report from the City of Needles, the Fiscal Impact is three-year annual fee for cost of services of managing the Needles Visitor Center. Sylvia Miledi $159,723.23 or $74,988.01
Am 2/18/21.

According to the Staff Report from the City of Needles, the Recommendation is for the City Council select the preferred vendor for the establishment and management services for the Needles Visitor Center and authorize Staff to negotiate a services agreement for Council consideration.

*** Agenda Item Packet: ***

cc-9-022321-visitor ctr staff report

cc-9a-022321-Chambers proposal

cc-9b-022321-Torism & Visitor Ctr proposal

Due to the California’s Executive Order to “Stay-At-Home”, in person participation at the Needles City Council meetings is not allowed at this time and the Needles City Council Chambers are not open to the public, and those in the public wanting to comment on this item were able to attend the meeting via Microsoft Teams.

Live Broadcast: ZachNews (Start at 23:00 Minute Mark):

ZachNews broadcast live tonight’s meeting as the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center (formerly the Needles Downtown Business Alliance) presented their presentations to the members of the Needles City Council via Microsoft Teams about their history, what they have done over their years in operation and what is their plans for the establishing and managing services for the Needles Visitor Center.

Discussions and questions occurred after their presentations, members of the Needles City Council asking the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center if they can work together in establishing and managing services for the Needles Visitor Center.

The Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center to members of the Needles City Council that they can work together.

After discussions and questions, members of the Needles City Council unanimously approved to meet with the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center to create a contract for the establishment and management services for the Needles Visitor Center, and return to Needles City Council within 30 days.

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 145 or Press 2.

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