On Volusia: The CVB’s Attack Continues – But Why?

Hey, North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau – mind your own friggin’ business.

Look, residents of the Halifax area don’t come to the Windy City and tell you how to encourage visitors to your bullet-riddled, homeless encrusted hell-hole – and we would appreciate the same courtesy.

On Sunday, Gina Speckman, executive director of Chicago’s North Shore CVB, had the brass to take the Daytona Beach News-Journal to task for having the temerity to seek answers for why the Daytona Beach CVB handed over $200,000 – plus a $44,000 per month retainer – to an out-of-state ad agency for the asinine marketing tag, “Wide Open Fun.” 

According to Ms. Speckman’s blathering diatribe:

“As the media are being attacked as fake, I am sure you take umbrage as a professional journalist. Why are destination marketing professionals not afforded the same respect?

It is insulting that you picture us as clueless public money spenders.

The hotels remit hotel tax from visitors, and although it is public money it is levied in cooperation with the hotels to bring more overnight stays to the area. We know what we are doing and to be blithely second-guessed is to diminish our profession.

Want me to edit your articles?

Decide what stories you should publish?

If I gave you a butter knife, do you think you could fancy yourself a surgeon?

If your paper cares about Daytona Beach, you should reach out to the CVB with your “concerns” and help, not tear down.”

Listen up – you clueless, public money spending gasbag – we don’t need your two-cents.

Our newspaper of record was right to investigate the massive outcry over the patently stupid expenditure of public funds on a goofy three-word advertising label which is completely counter to rebuilding our areas soiled reputation as a no-holds-barred party town.

Rarely have I seen this level of sustained ass-covering by the various and redundant tax supported tourist and visitors bureaus in Volusia County – and now by something called the North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Frankly, I was ready to let the issue die – just accept it for what it is – and hope for the best.

I was even beginning to forget the fact that Lori Campbell-Baker, the executive director of the Daytona Beach CVB, trotted out unfortunate counter-allegations that the News-Journal’s reporting on the news of the day somehow hamstrings tourist marketing efforts by painting the Halifax area in a “negative” light.

Why won’t they let it go?

Why does the Daytona Beach CVB continue reinforcing the parapets and attacking the legitimate criticism of this tax-funded waste of time and money?

As I’ve previously stated, in my view, even suggesting that a local news organization ignore the myriad issues facing us here on the Fun Coast is the height of self-deception.

And it seriously insults our intelligence.

In my view, suggesting that our newspaper of record simply ignore – or worse, purposely conceal by omission – the challenges we face as a means of building a false narrative to lure potential visitors or sell real estate borders on fraud.

Then, I read Ms. Speakman’s colossally condescending letter to the editor – and learned on social media that our highly-paid South Carolina-based advertising agency hadn’t even bothered to secure the website domain names associated with “wide open fun.” 

I mean, $200,000 and we don’t even have a basic, semi-related online presence for this astronomically expensive campaign?

Are you shitting me? 

Perhaps its time the Daytona Beach Visitors and Convention Bureau – and its many supporters in the tourism marketing fraternity – get back to the business at hand.

The public may not be advertising experts – but we can smell a fresh turd when we step in it.

These whiners would do well to remember that when it comes to redundant, tax-supported “visitors bureaus” – sometimes its best to listen to the thoughts and concerns of those you serve – even when your arrogance won’t permit you to hear it.

And as far as Ms. Speckman is concerned – how about you concern yourself with marketing the attributes of Skokie in the winter and leave us the hell alone?

Join Barker’s View on GovStuff Live with Big John this afternoon beginning at 4:00pm.

We’ll be discussing this issue – and other fiasco’s which affect our lives and livelihoods here on the Fun Coast.

Listen live at 1380am – or on the web at GovStuff.org (Listen Live button).









2 thoughts on “On Volusia: The CVB’s Attack Continues – But Why?

  1. I have lived in SE Florida for many a year. I also lived in crime-ridden Jacksonvile for 2 years only. I moved here to this area to be free of relative crime. I am happy.
    But the elected officials of the county do not listen to we voters. Every month the newspaper publishes how many people stayed in hotels in Daytona. Who cares? The visitor convention bureau needs a re org. Wide Open Fun?

    Try to go to the beach in Daytona. Better bring a heap load of cash for parking. Why is there no free parking around the Ocean Center (our so-called convention center). Why is Main Street considered dangerous and a haven for bikers and homeless?

    Why is the county going to spend $260 million dollars on a new courthouse?
    Who made a decision to build a homeless shelter 12 miles away from downtown?
    I drive from Ormond to Daytona, and my car falls into 7 potholes on A1A caused by sewer manhole covers not level with the road surface. This is what we get for a beach community?
    I call the City of Daytona to report code violations, they cross examine me like I am the culprit.

    The mayor and city council and county council are tasked with setting the vision for the area.

    Yeah, right.


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