City of Andalusia signs agreement with events company

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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The City of Andalusia looks to add more events for residents and visitors by entering into a contract with a promotions company.

The city council approved a contract with The Art of the Game, Inc. in creating and coordinating more events within the city. The contract calls for the city to pay the firm a monthly fee of $3,500.

According to The Art of the Game’s website, the company’s marketing and brand development workshop creates entertainer, corporate and sports brands using a unique blend of marketing, imaging, targeted revenue generation, and major event and traditional media and social network activation. The Art of the Game’s live event group produces and directs fully integrated marketing programs and live concerts, performing and visual art formats, and celebrity chef cuisine demonstrations at major sporting and cultural events.

Previously, the city council looked to create a new position for an events coordinator, but officials said contracting that work could be a better solution.

“We have our hallmark event in Candyland. We spend a lot of time and money on Candyland; it takes a lot to put that on. Since 2013, our sales tax revenue in December has increased almost every year. We are up about 35 percent (since Candyland started). What we’re thinking is, with that success, we emphasize filling out the rest of the year. Somebody has to generate all those ideas and plans and that is what (Art of the Game) will be tasked with doing,” said City Clerk John Thompson.

Thompson added that all events created, and the budgets for them, will come back to the council for approval.

“This is a big step in making Andalusia a destination city,” said Mayor Earl Johnson. “We want to be a place that people come to for a reason. We know what Candyland has meant to us and I think we can take other things and make them just as popular. We need somebody who knows more about it than we know so they can help us. That is what this firm is all about.”

Officials said the scope of the events would likely range in size and scope.

“It’s everything from a small music performance to something larger, like a barbeque festival we’ve talked about in the past. We just don’t have the resources to pull that off on our own. The hope is that the events will pay for themselves,” Thompson said.

Other items discussed by the council included:

  • approving to spend $136,000 for upgrades for the city’s computer systems. One goal is to increase protection of the city’s information. The expense will be paid with funds made available through the CARES Act.
  • approving the retirement of Dist. 4 City Councilman Ralph Wells. Wells said in a letter to the council that he needed to spend more time with his family.
  • approving surplus property for several city departments.
  • approving a donation of $1,500 for the Alabama Junior Rodeo Association.
  • approving the abatement for three nuisance properties.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, 6 p.m., at city hall. A work session begins at 5:30 p.m. in the second floor conference room.