Bradenton Area Convention Center One Haben Boulevard, Palmetto - Longboat Key Room 9:00 a.m. - September 29, 2020
REVISED - September 29, 2020 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #46

Approval and Execution of Partnership Agreement with Mote Marine Laboratory, Inc.


Contact and/or Presenter Information
Presenter: Cheri Coryea, County Administrator

Action Requested
Approval and authorization for the County Administrator to execute Partnership Agreement with Mote Marine Laboratory, Inc.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Florida Statute 125.0104  Legal Uses of Tourist Development Tax Proceeds

Background Discussion
  • On February 25, 2020, County Commissioners adopted the following motion:  Commit $5 million of Tourist Development funds to be distributed in increments of $1 million per year beginning FY21 to support Mote's promotion of tourism in accordance with State law for Mote Aquarium on City Island and the new aquarium and have the County Administrator work with Mote to finalize the specific details for execution of this agreement. 
  • Based on this request from the Board, the County Administrator in conjunction with the County Attorney's Office and Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Falcione began coordinating with representatives from Mote. 
  • The County Attorney's Office promptly drafted an agreement, which was provided to Mote for consideration. Mote representatives provided feedback and potential areas to address in further detail and negotiations were completed in late August with the attached agreement.
  • Based on the previous process for the consideration of Tourist Development Tax proceeds and legal uses, the County Attorney's Office advised the item be brought to the Tourist Development Council for their review and recommendation.
  • On August 17, 2020, the Tourist Development Council met at their regularly scheduled meeting and discussed concerns of an uncertain financial future of Tourist Development Tax proceeds. This review considered current and potential future funding obligations as well as an unstable financial market at the time due to COVID-19 impacts.
  • The Tourist Development Council recommended the County Commission rescind the motion they made on February 25 and revisit this initiative in one year when the market may be more stable. The motion carried 7-1 with Tourist Development Council Chairman Misty Servia voting nay.
  • The agreement allows for Manatee County to disburse $1 million to Mote annually for a five-year period beginning FY2021, or as early as October 2020.
  • Manatee County would receive a branded marketing and promotions package at the City Island location and at the future aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park for a 13-year period beginning October 2020.
  • The Office of Financial Management will request a budget amendment of $1 million at the October 13, 2020 County Commission meeting to transfer tourism tax funds from the County's reserve account to a marketing & promotions line item.
  • Mote will provide Manatee County with an annual report of previous year sponsorship activities beginning September 2021 and each year following until September 2025.
  • The County and Mote will have regular contact throughout the year to review trends of promotion effectiveness and results. This information will be provided to the Tourist Development Council and Board of County Commissioner on a quarterly basis.
  • If amendments to the Tourist Development Plan need to occur to accommodate this transaction, staff will coordinate and bring it back for approval.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Send one fully executed original agreement to Monica Luff, CVB, to forward to Mote.

Copy of approved agenda memo to monica.luff@mymanatee.org  and eva.galler@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
CVB Promotions – Promotional Activities (1030002202 548000)

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
$5 million in increments of $1 million per year for 5 years starting FY21

Attachment:  Mote Marine Partnership Agreement.pdf