ROSEMEAD — Why would a city that admits it has nothing for a tourist to do or see want to establish a visitoras information center?
Because the configuration of freeways makes Rosemead a central location for tourists to stay while visiting attractions in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Rosemead also happens to have an abundance of motels and a Chamber of Commerce that would be pleased to provide visitors with all the latest information on Southern California's tourist attractions in return for a permanent building.
Discovered by Edison
Rosemead's convenient location was first exploited by Southern California Edison Co. when it wanted to move its headquarters out of downtown Los Angeles. A survey showed that because of the configuration of the San Bernardino, Pomona and San Gabriel River freeways, Rosemead was the logical place to relocate, a company spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the chamber was moving from one small rented location to another. And, after the 1984 Olympics, the city's 11 motels were seeking ways to fill their beds.
So a deal was struck: The motels would support an increase to 8% from 6% in the transient occupancy tax, with the additional $60,000 a year being used by the chamber to buy a building and set up the information center.
Last summer the City Council passed an ordinance increasing the tax and earmarking it for the chamber for four years, a move that must be approved by the voters at a special election in March.
"For tax reasons, the Rosemead Foundation has been organized and we would rent space from them for $1 a year," said Bonnie Culbertson, the chamber's executive director.
The building would house the information center, the chamber offices and possibly other offices that would be rented to nonprofit agencies.
"We have collected information on three sites and the contract between the city and the chamber is in the process of being written," Culbertson said. "The foundation has been organized and will help us raise funds to supplement what we will get from the bed tax.
'Important to Us'
"This is important to us because we are a small chamber--there are only 1,000 businesses in Rosemead--but we want to serve the community well," she said.
If plans proceed as expected, the chamber will have a permanent home, probably in the downtown business district on Valley Boulevard, and will launch a promotional campaign to persuade families to make Rosemead their home away from home while they travel the Southland's famous freeways to Disneyland, Universal City and other nearby destinations.