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Lawmakers consider bills to force hotel owners to pay marketing firms

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers may vote this week on legislation that would give private marketing groups the power to force hotel and motel owners to pay fees for advertising.

The package of bills could make it harder for hotel and motel owners to refuse to pay levies as high as 5% of their revenue to private marketing bureaus.

The legislation has already passed the state Senate. The bills will go before the state House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation committee on Wednesday.

Leelanau County hotelier David Gersenson took his local bureau to court over the fee they wanted to charge him. He’s not a fan of state lawmakers trying to make it more difficult to fight the fees.

“Yeah, they’re just trying to squeeze more money out of a person traveling,” says Gersenson.

Gersenson believes hotel owners can be more effective handling their own advertising online than trusting generic advertising campaigns that may not focus on their businesses.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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