A Brief History of Sonoma County Lodging Association 

SCLA was formed in 1999 by a group of forward-thinking hoteliers who saw a need for an organization that represented the lodging industry in a variety of areas. First and foremost SCLA was to serve as an advocate to build consensus within the industry and to promote the interests of its members to the community, government and other outside organizations. Furthermore SCLA was formed to provide training and educational opportunities as well as enhance the general image of Sonoma County area as a leisure, convention and business destination through marketing efforts.

Formation of Sonoma County Tourism Bureau

In March 2001, leaders in the tourism industry and the public sector began to formulate ideas and investigate ways of creating a funding structure to support a comprehensive tourism marketing program where  the idea of creating a special county-wide tourism business improvement area emerged. SCLA became the lead organization advocating the development of a new business improvement area. In 2004, SCLA promoted the development of the business improvement area to its members, community leaders, public officials and tourism-related organizations. In November 2004, SCLA saw their vision become reality when the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors established the Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area (SCTBIA).

Soon after the establishment of the SCTBIA, the organizational framework for the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau (SCTB) was developed, including articles of incorporation and by-laws. In addition, the five-member SCTBIA Advisory Board was appointed to act as liaison between the Board of Supervisors and the new SCTB. On Jan. 1, 2005, the SCTBIA went into effect. In February 2005, a 22-member board of directors was appointed and had its inaugural meeting. Then nn June 2005, the Board of Supervisors ratified a contract with SCTB to market Sonoma County and promote overnight visitors. On July 1, 2005, the SCTB officially became the destination marketing organization for Sonoma County.

Roles of SCLA and SCTB

SCLA and SCTB each serve different and unique roles in the lodging and hospitality industry. While SCTB markets and sells Sonoma County as a destination, SCLA represents the approximately 2,230 individual lodging properties and the over 19,700 people who work in the industry by providing training and education; networking opportunities; and by building consensus and serving as the voice of the industry to government officials, the business community and all of Sonoma County. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software