Pierce County Council confirms appointments to new tourism commission

Tourism in Pierce County will get a boost from a new commission whose members were confirmed Tuesday by the Pierce County Council.

The Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) Commission will make annual recommendations on regional marketing programs that will be funded by fees paid by visitors who stay in hotels in Pierce County.

The 11-member commission represents hoteliers, who agreed to organize as a countywide body and assess room fees of 50 cents to $1.50 per night in order to enhance tourism promotion. The assessment will be collected at properties with 40 or more rooms.

“Tourism is an important element of Pierce County’s economy, with 4.65 million visitors spending $887 million a year,” said Council Chair Roger Bush (District 3). “The appointees to the new TPA Commission are dedicated to finding ways to increase occupied room nights and visitor spending throughout Pierce County, which benefits all county residents and businesses.”

The TPA Commission members were appointed by Executive Pat McCarthy from a list provided by the Pierce County Lodging Association. The appointments were then subject to approval by the County Council.

Here are the appointments approved Tuesday under Resolution No. R2010-11:

— Deborah Kerner, Liberty Inn, DuPont

— Sang Kim, Baymont Inn & Suites, Fife

— Darshan “Shawn” Randhawa, Travelodge, Fife

— Randy Fortier, Inn at Gig Harbor

— Calvin Yi, America’s Best Value Inn, Lakewood

— Lynn Wallace, Best Western Park Plaza, Puyallup

— Jennifer Caveny,.Holiday Inn Express, Sumner

— Mark Van Cooney, Hotel Murano, Tacoma

— Laurie Beck, Shilo Inn & Suites, Tacoma

— Mike Gommi, Courtyard by Marriott, Tacoma

— David Wilde, Paradise Inn, Pierce County