The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington could merge with the Old Worthington Partnership.

During a Worthington City Council meeting Nov. 19, the two organizations were supposed to present their respective funding requests as part of the yearly budget process

During the presentation, CVB board president Bill Purpura presented a recommendation that the two organizations merge because of the closure and upcoming demolition of the Holiday Inn, 7007 N. High St., and the retirement announcement of executive director Mindy Mace.

“We were hit with a double whammy,” Purpura said.

A 6 percent bed tax is assessed on hotels in Worthington, and 66 percent of revenue collected goes to the CVB, with the rest going to the city’s general fund. Purpura said the Holiday Inn provided most of the funding for the CVB.

Worthington officials approved plans last year for the Village at Worthington Square, a mixed-use development by Witness Hospitality on the Holiday Inn site, which is off U.S. Route 23 and south of Interstate 270. The development is expected to include a 111-room, 4-story Hampton Inn & Suites, with up to five other buildings that will contain 15,000 to 19,000 square feet of office space and more than 20,000 square feet for restaurants and small service-oriented businesses.

The CVB has had an agreement with the Old Worthington Partnership since June, according to minutes from a June 18 City Council meeting.

Council members expressed their support in working on the transition and dissolving the CVB board by the end of the year.

“I think that’s there’s been a lot of improvements and good things happening,” said council President Bonnie Michael on the changes that have occured since the organizations have been working together.

“We wouldn’t have even considered this five years ago,” Purpura said.

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