BOISE -- It could be the beginning of the end for the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The group that brings in hundreds of millions in dollars to the Treasure Valley says it will fold if a plan to yank its funding does not change, and the community may miss out on future revenue.
The Boise Auditorium District owns the Boise Convention Center.
And the district pays the Convention and Visitors Bureau $1.3 million a year to market the center and bring events to town.
Now, some at the district say they don't need the bureau. They'll do the bureau's job in-house.
The Boise Auditorium District and the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau have worked closely for more than two decades.
That changed recently, after an Idaho Supreme Court ruling that an auditorium district in Pocatello wasn't spending its tax dollar money the way it was supposed to.
That decision concerned leaders of the auditorium district in Boise.
Chairman Mike Wilson says its only part of the reason why he no longer wants to contract with the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau for marketing.
I just want to emphasize again that we are a public organization that uses taxpayer dollars and we must be efficient and transparent in how we spend those dollars. And that's what it boils down to, said Wilson.
The district recently decided it would hire a few marketing and sales people from the bureau and bring them over to the district.
However, bureau executive director Bobbie Patterson questions whether the district really understands the work it takes to attract events.
To successfully market the building you have to market the city, Because if nobody comes to the city, the building really doesn't benefit, you have to market the whole, Patterson said.
Mike Fitzgerald sits on the auditorium district board with Wilson.
Fitzgerald says the staff at the bureau is qualified, and to allow the bureau to dissolve would be a costly decision.
They want to throw all of that away to bring a staff in house, that has no track record, I don't even think they know who that is, I don't think anybody's been hired, Fitzgerald said.
Patterson confirms no one from her staff has been hired by the other side.
The bureau will run out of its funding from the district in August. Its other source of revenue is the Idaho Travel Council -- but that $600,000 will only come if the bureau is fully staffed.
So there's a chance the bureau will lose both sources of income.
My real takeaway is all of us involved, the staff here, the advisory board, and the auditorium board, has a responsibility to this community to sit down at the table and work this out, said Bobbie Patterson of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau.
I want things to go back to where they were. They did a tremendous job. They do a tremendous job. They're funded through August. That would be the best thing for the city, the citizens of the city and our economy is for the sales and marketing portion of the district to be handed right back over to convention and visitors bureau, Fitzgerald said.
The bureau will find out in August if it gets the $600,000 from the travel council.
Mike Wilson also says he would be interested in bringing a couple bureau staff members to the district but it would be for about a year.
Fitzgerald and Patterson say a memo from the Attorney General s office indicates the relationship between the district and the bureau is legal -- but Wilson says he's not so sure and wants to err on the side of caution.