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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2016-1953: NAICS Code Not Determinative Of Tourism Designation For Non-Profit Events Promoter


The following is an Appeal Panel Decision issued pursuant to Section 6 of the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic & Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Rules Governing the BP Appeals Process. Links may have been added to assist the reader. The original decision may be found here, as well as a glossary of BP Settlement terms.

BP challenges the tourism designation given to the claimant, a non-profit organization that organizes, promotes and stages performing arts productions in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Both parties agree that the compensation amount ($134,378.11, pre-RTP) is correct.
BP notes on appeal that Claimant’s NAICS Code is not one listed in the Settlement Agreement as entitled to a tourism designation,  but the NAICS code is not determinative. BP argues that Claimant promotes local events, evidenced by the fact that “tourism” is not mentioned in the claimant’s mission statement or on its website.
Claimant submitted the affidavit of its executive director who testified that Claimant receives grant funding from ***to promote productions from outside the
Lafayette area.She also testified that Claimant actively advertises and markets its productions in the Houston area as well as Baton Rouge, markets to its mailing list of subscribers in 28 different states and has box office receipts showing sales to patrons from 16 states outside Louisiana. Claimant also notes that the mission
statement relied upon by BP was drafted in 1988 when the Claimant was first formed. Like most successful non-profits, the mission statement does not change when the mission of the organization expands and grows.
Since the adoption of Policy 289 v.2, the Program has had a specific team review tourism RTP designations. After a de novo review of the record, this panelist finds no basis for BP’s requested remand and BP’s argument for a non-tourism RTP to be unpersuasive. Accordingly, Claimant’s final proposal is the correct result.

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