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Heard on the Beat / Marla Dickerson

Anaheim Visitors Bureau Marks Anniversary

August 22, 1996|Marla Dickerson | Marla Dickerson covers tourism for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-5670 and at marla.dickerson@latimes.com

Happy birthday to the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, which celebrates 35 years of operation this month.

The agency got its start in 1961 as the Anaheim Area Visitor & Convention Bureau, operating out of a small Anaheim farmhouse with five staff members. Back then, the bureau's mission was to find a way to generate year-round business for the city's 2,500 hotel and motel rooms.

Today the bureau boasts a staff of 40 that, among other things, is still trying to fill those hotel rooms--all 18,000 of them. More than 487 million people have visited Anaheim since 1961, depositing about $74 billion into the local economy over the years.

Now that takes the cake.

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