Biz Buzz: Contract awarded to visitors bureau

The San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau has been awarded a contract of $95,000 from the San Luis Obispo City Council to help market the region as a tourist destination.

The bureau, which received the contract Sept. 15, has also secured funding commitments from the cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay and Paso Robles, as well as the county as a whole.

Bureau Executive Director John Summer emphasized the importance of organizations and cities to band together so they can promote the county as one entity.

“Each sub-region in the county has their own special attributes, but they are not as powerful alone in their promotions, as when they join forces,” Summer said.

The bureau  promotes through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales. Its member base includes more than 500 tourism-industry-related businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores. In 2008, the bureau won the California Tour and Travel Commission’s “Best Overall Marketing Campaign.”

— Melanie Cleveland

Donations are being collected through Friday at area Heritage Oaks Bank branches to benefit the Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Luis Obispo County.

The goal is to have 5,000 people donate $5 each to help abused and neglected children who are served by CASA.

The program’s volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for abused and neglected children who are in the legal and social service systems. CASA volunteers stay with each case until it is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

Heritage Oaks’ branches are located in Paso Robles, San Miguel, Cambria, Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande. For more information, contact CASA at 541-6542 or go to its Web site

—Tribune staff report