News & Features

Montana Tourism Marketing Contract Award Criticized

State agency decided to award a $7 million tourism marketing contract to a Wisconsin firm

BOZEMAN — A Montana state agency’s decision to award a $7 million tourism marketing contract to a Wisconsin firm is being criticized by some tourism industry officials.

The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development earlier this month awarded the contract to Milwaukee-based Hoffman York, splitting with the Bozeman advertising agency MercuryCSC after a decade.

Jennifer Pelej is the bureau chief for the tourism department’s marketing office. She tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that 11 applicants went through a competitive bidding process.

Pelej disclosed that she has a relative who works for Hoffman York, but procurement officials found no conflict of interest.

Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association president Steve Wahrlich says he would have placed more value on the company’s knowledge of the tourism industry in the selection process.

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