The Eureka Visitors Center in Old Town

The Eureka City Council will be discussing some important issues at next week’s meeting, including potentially finding new ways to promote tourism for the city.

For years the City of Eureka has been paying $370,000 annually to the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau to help promote the city. But, as outlined in the city staff report, the city has not been entirely satisfied with the bureau’s focus on promoting the redwoods, and not including the area’s other attractions.

“It’s not just tourism, it’s marketing services in general,” Eureka Development Services Director Rob Holmlund told the Outpost. Holmlund explained that to date most efforts have been in marketing the area to people who live far outside of the region. Eureka wants to promote the city as a destination for neighboring areas too. 

The city was set to discuss exploring alternative marketing strategies during their Jan. 15 meeting. However, the meeting was rescheduled after the City learned of the death of the Visitors Bureau Executive Director Tony Smithers the weekend before the scheduled City Council meeting.

Unless the council rejects this new approach, the City staff will release the request for proposals on Feb. 6, allowing for local entities to submit their ideas for how the City of Eureka should spend their tourism promotion budget.  

Holmlund is excited about exploring new ways to market and rebrand Eureka. He said the city will accept proposals from pretty much anyone, but there is a requirement that they have an office with at least one employee in Eureka. They are not trying to attract huge, out-of-the-area firms.  

In other business, the council will potentially be adopting a resolution to install more stop signs on F, E and G streets in Old Town.

Intersection at F and Second Streets in Old Town, proposed for the addition of four-way stop signs. From city staff report.

From the staff report:

The Traffic Division of the Public Works Department conducted an engineering study to determine if all-way stop signs at the intersections of First and F, Second and F, Second and E, and Third and G Streets in the Downtown/Old Town area were warranted. Based on the engineering study, staff is recommending all-way stop signs be installed at each of these locations.

The intersections in question each already have two-way stop signs. But the engineering study found that traffic and pedestrian volume at these intersections were high enough for all-way stop signs to improve safety and decrease the likelihood of collisions.

Another item up for the council’s discussion is the sale of the city-owned property on 2112 Broadway, which currently houses the Eureka Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is moving to a new location this spring and the city determined that they have no current of future use for the property.

So the City Council may authorize staff to release a request for proposals, inviting potential buyers to pitch what type of project they might have in mind for that space. City staff will review the proposals and select the one they think is most inline with the city’s interests.

“That will be pretty exciting, to see a new development there,” Holmlund said.

The City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Eureka City Hall, 531 K Street.

You can view the full agenda here.

There is also a Eureka City Council Special Meeting at 4:30 p.m., during which the council will be discussing the 2019 Capital Improvement Plan. The agenda can be viewed here.