November 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the creation and appointment of Durham's first Tourism Development Authority as Discover Durham's governing board. A few months later, in January 2014, Discover Durham celebrated the 25th anniversary of its formal charter to serve as Durham's marketing agency by the Durham City Council and Board of County Commissioners by interlocal agreement.
Below are some of the significant events that led to the creation of Discover Durham.
July 1986: NC General Assembly authorizes a local-option Durham room occupancy and tourism development tax, provided that the community establishes a convention and visitors bureau - to be self-funded by a portion of the revenues - as Durham's marketing agency.
October 1986: First levy of the room occupancy and tourism development tax following enactment by Durham Board of County Commissions.
March 1987: Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce recommends immediate establishment of an independent Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.
May 1987: Durham City and County Managers make recommendations to the Joint City-County Committee for creation of Discover Durham.
February 1988: Board of Directors of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce adopts resolution endorsing formation of Discover Durham as an independent public authority.
May 1988: Durham Mayor Wib Gulley presents final details for formation of Discover Durham to the Joint City-County Committee, including the make-up of the governing Tourism Development Authority.
November 1988: Durham City Council and Board of County Commissioners appoint six of the seven members to the first Tourism Development Authority, including the late H. C. Cranford, Gretchen Cooley, Anne Gregory, the late Rick Kaspar, Bob Poole, and Barbara Ryan.
January 6, 1989: Discover Durham Tourism Development Authority holds organizational meeting and elects H. C. Cranford Chairman.
January 17, 1989: Durham City Council and Board of County Commissioners formally adopt an interlocal agreement establishing Discover Durham as a provision to 1986 state legislation authorizing Durham to levy a room occupancy and tourism development tax.
January 17, 1989: Discover Durham Tourism Development Authority authorizes recruitment of a chief executive officer.
May 1989: Discover Durham TDA appoints Reyn Bowman as the organization's first full-time executive.
June 1989: Discover Durham commences operations.