By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Source: City of Needles’ City Clerk’s Office (Information):
Needles, California: The Needles Tourism and Visitors Center has withdraw from consideration for the Needles Visitors Center just before members of the Needles City Council decides at their meeting on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 a preferred vendor in establishing and managing services for the Needles Visitor Center.
According to the City of Needles, Needles City Council directed staff at the Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 meeting to meet with both proposers to join their efforts to develop and operate a Visitor Center, and staff met with the Council Committee and the two proposers and resolved many issues.
After the meeting, the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center notified the City of Needles that they were withdrawing from consideration for the Needles Visitor Center.
In a letter (Posted Above) to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels that was released publicly by the City of Needles, the Needles Tourism and Visitors Center Board of Directors voted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 to withdraw from consideration for the City of Needles Visitors Center for the following reasons they listed in their letter.
- We are not interested in pursuing the California Visitor Center designation. For at least the first year the center is open, the expense is unwarranted nor has the visitor base been established.
- The California Visitor Center was not included in the RFP instructions to be budgeted. The NTVC budget was much lower because it did not reflect consideration for the California Visitor Center.
- The Needles City Councilors were not knowledgeable about the NTVC RFP. This was obvious by the questions asked after the presentation that were answered in the RFP. As a group, the council was very dismissive towards the NTVC.
- We were approached last spring to operate the City of Needles Visitors Center. Since no other group expressed an interest in operating it, we proceeded with plans to submit an RFP. When another group re-entered and submitted an RFP, we felt we were not considered fairly in becoming the concessionaire.
The letter from the Needles Tourism and Visitors Center (NTVC) Board of Directors continues saying, “At this time we are not sure what the City of Needles is wanting from the NTVC. We would be willing to continue the management of the rentals and tours in the El Garces as this has worked for several years and there wouldn’t be a lapse in management. That has worked well for the city and the people currently volunteering. This follows the values of what our group has established. In conclusion, the Needies Tourism & Visitors Center will continue to promote and support our tri-state businesses, organizations and events. Thank you for the opportunity to educate you on what our group has accomplished in a very short period of time as we move forward marketing our area.”
This comes after the members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted late last month to meet with the Needles Chamber of Commerce and the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center to create contract for Needles Visitor Center inside the historic El Garces Train Depot.
This decision by the Needles Tourism and Visitor Center leaves the other vendor, Needles Chamber of Commerce, as the only preferred vendor left unless a less minute proposal comes in.
According to the Staff Report from the City of Needles for Agenda Item #9, the Recommendation in is for the City Council select the Chamber of Commerce as the preferred vendor for the Visitor Center and authorize staff to negotiate an agreement.
*** Agenda Item #9 Packet: ***
Members of the Needles City Council will again decide on who will be the preferred vendor for the Needles Visitor Center during the Needles City Council Meeting starting at 6:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March. 9th, 2021.
The Needles City Council Meeting will be broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook starting with the Executive Session at 5:00 p.m. PT (Just Reading of the Agenda Items on Executive Session; Short Live Broadcast) followed by the Regular Meeting at 6:00 p.m. PT (Full Live Broadcast).
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.