We had some of the information in our story today, but we only had so much space in the paper, so here’s some more about the way in which Visit Knoxville (formerly KTSC) got the recommendation for the contract.
Keep in mind that City Council and County Commission must approve the deal, but after a process like that, with a request for information and then a request for bids, one would think that there the local elected folks will get behind the recommendation.
But there’s no guarantee that they elected boards vote in the same step as the RFP process. Speaking with those close to the process, like Mike Myers from Knox County purchasing, they said it was about the same as any other RFP process — which is designed to eliminate favoritism.
In fact, Visit Knoxville had stiff competition from one group for the contract. The docs we received:
What didn’t make it in was that one proposal included what appeared to be an amusement park, or some other attraction to bring people into the area. That’s not saying that it was an amusement park, because it could’ve been an obelisk, or a strip mall or a statue garden, for all I know, or even (not) a wig shop.