KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Commission is moving forward with the revamped tourism board.
Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corp. started the year tangled up in controversy over pay for former CEO Gloria Ray.
The group now has a new name, a new CEO and is close to inking a new contract with the county and the city.
This time, leaders are looking to keep the group, now called Visit Knoxville, on a tighter leash.
On Monday, commissioners passed the first reading of a resolution approving a tourism contract with Visit Knoxville.
In June, the organization was selected as the successful proposer of tourism services. The decision came after months of limbo, during which the city and county leaders also considered bidding the services out to other groups.
If the new resolution passes, the contract for Visit Knoxville would be good for one year.
Commissioners said the new deal will hold the organization more accountable and have more stringent standards.
The organization will have to meet quarterly goals and benchmarks when it comes to the amount of tourism generated in the county.
"There's going to be a lot of tracking to bring forth, so we, as a community, can really understand in Knoxville how it benefits us all," said Bumpas.
The contract mandates that the organization submit quarterly reports to the county mayor and county commission chair.
According to the contract, quarterly reports will include a list of Visit Knoxville's contracted bookings, booked room nights, booked attendance, booked event revenue and other information.
The benchmarks would be a lot different than in previous agreements with KTSC.
"When you look at our benchmarks that were in the old contract, if we were mentioned in a newspaper, that was considered significant. I don't think that is significant," said Commissioner Mike Hammond. "What is significant is how well we're attracting people to Knoxville to eat in our restaurants, and to stay in our hotel rooms, and to visit our attractions. These are the benchmarks."
Hammond said he was discouraged that Knox County fell to fifth in the state in tourism spending behind Hamilton County, according to the 2012 Tennessee Department of Tourism rankings.
The second and final reading of the resolution will be voted on during next week's commission meeting.
Knoxville City Council will also vote on the contract.
Also at Monday's meeting, commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance creating new regulations for roadside vendors.
The measure's sponsor, Commissioner R. Larry Smith said constituents have raised concerns about small, unlicensed flea markets operating in parking lots and out of abandoned businesses.
The second and final reading will also take place next week.