<h1>The Greenbrier Valley Airport Authority (GVAA)\u00a0 convened at the airport on Tuesday, Nov. 27, to a crowded audience.<\/h1>\r\nMany locals were in attendance to voice their opinions on the proposed Air Service Convention and Visitor\u2019s Bureau, which was tabled at the last GVAA\u00a0 meeting on Oct. 16. Most employees of the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitor\u2019s Bureau attended, curious to see how the GVAA would vote on whether or not to form their own air service bureau.\r\n\r\nThe Greenbrier County CVB has stated that they are eager and willing to do business with the airport, but tensions have been building between the two groups as discussions over a new air service bureau have gained traction. Greenbrier Valley Airport Director Stephen Snyder followed the Oct. 16 GVAA meeting by saying that past relations with Lewisburg officials and the Greenbrier County CVB have made him wary about trusting airport business to certain organizations, saying, \u201cI am open for any and all formats that best serve the people of our region without any special interests, politics, and with full open disclosure of what\u2019s going on,\u201d referencing the 16 board members who vote on Greenbrier County CVB matters.\r\n\r\nThe meeting began with public comments, starting with John Barnes, who expressed concerns over how public funds would be used to form a new CVB. He emphasized that the current CVB is fully functional, and that a second CVB would be an unnecessary cost to the public.\r\n\r\nFollowing Barnes\u2019 statement, Vice President and General Manager of The Greenbrier Sporting Club Larry Klein added that, \u201cThere is nothing that the current CVB can\u2019t do that a new CVB could do.\u201d\r\n\r\nDue to rising tensions, he said he thinks a vote on the airport CVB should wait. \u201cI just don\u2019t think it\u2019s necessary. I think we can work together and solve these issues.\u201d He added, \u201cI\u2019m not even completely sure why there\u2019s such a push to have it created.\u201d\r\n\r\nAshley Vickers, executive director of the Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce, followed by saying, \u201cThe Chamber feels that it makes the most sense to put financial and human resources into one entity, one that\u2019s been proven, one that has successfully supported air service in this community for a number of years, and one that already exists, and that\u2019s the Greenbrier County CVB.\u201d\r\n\r\nGreenbrier County Commissioner Lowell Rose took the floor to say that the current CVB already has a full-time, trained marketing staff, including a tourism expert, and they are already accredited by the State Tourism Bureau. \u201cSo in my opinion, I agree with these guys,\u201d said Rose, and went on to add that, \u201cthe reason we have such a division is that we\u2019re not working together. We\u2019re not meeting together, because everyone wants to have their own thing going on.\u201d\r\n\r\nHowever, he did empathize with the airport to a degree, saying he understands that an airport CVB would give them more control over monies coming in and how that money is spent. He warned that more control over finances equals to more requirements that must be adhered to.\r\n\r\nMike Kidd, president of the current CVB, broke down a recent history of communication between the airport and the current CVB, saying that the CVB approached the airport authority in September when they heard discussion over the formation of a new CVB. \u201cSince then, we have made it clear of our desire to work with the airport, and that our established CVB can do exactly what the proposed CVB could.\u201d Kidd said that since 2001 the current CVB has been involved with air service support, and they want to continue to work on building that partnership with the airport. \u201cThe airport could, can, and should work and negotiate with airlines,\u201d adding that the current CVB could be a conduit for that funding. \u201cWe want the airport to join us in doing what\u2019s best, we all want collaboration in this.\u201d\r\n\r\nCounty Commissioner Woody Hanna began his statement by saying, \u201cI\u2019m not sure who I represent today,\u201d but emphasized that the members of the airport authority, \u201cneed to find some way to work together. You need to work past these little differences.\u201d Although he said he didn\u2019t have any problems with the idea of an airport CVB, he stated, \u201cI am opposed to raising the hotel\/motel tax at this time to fund an airport CVB.\u201d\r\n\r\nIt has been previously discussed at an airport and tourism marketing session that if the county were to fund a second CVB, the hotel\/motel tax would have to be raised to accommodate it. Currently, the tax is at three percent, which amounts to roughly $1 million in funds each year. Of that money, half goes to the current CVB. In order to raise the hotel\/motel tax, the county commission would have to vote to do so. With two commission members coming forward saying they are opposed to raising said tax, the idea is dead in the water. Mike McClung, the third commissioner, is also a member of the airport authority and would be unable to vote on the proposal.\r\n\r\nSnyder closed the meeting by clarifying that the federal government only funds 12 round trips a week, so if we want more air traffic, \u201cWe need money, and we need a conduit.\u201d He defended the idea of an airport CVB by listing how Charleston Yeager and Clarksburg both have airport CVB\u2019s to fund airport related marketing, and said, \u201cNone of this was meant to poke anyone in the eye,\u201d\r\n\r\nNo action was ultimately taken on whether to establish an air service CVB. The next airport authority meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. at the airport.