Andy Goodman on Dealing with Native American Tribes

Andy Goodman, Age Advertising

Today out of home development expert Andy Goodman shares his experience dealing with Native American Tribes.

I’ve had a couple experiences here in California with the Indian Tribes.  The Agua Caliente Tribe in Palm Springs were very good to work with. We would meet with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)  in Palm Springs who handled all the negotiations for the Agua Caliente Tribe when it came to billboards. They would provide us with maps that showed available properties for billboards. Once the sites were selected we would work with the BIA to negotiate a deal. What concerned me the most was the BIA required that all lease had a 30-60 day termination by the tribe for any reason.  That was the only way they would write the lease. If we wanted to make a play in Palm Springs we had to accept it.  Although none of the billboards that I built came down while I was working in Palm Springs, I do know of some that have come down since for development reasons.

The Morongo were very different.  For billboards they didn’t use the BIA and all negotiations went through the Real Estate office and the CEO of the company. The other difference is that the Morongo Tribe insisted that all billboards built on their property belonged to the Tribe. That was part of the negotiations when I worked at CBS.  While at CBS we took over the management of the Morongo billboards from Lamar. Those billboards had originally been built on the Tribal property by the Gunderson Family.  Those negotiations went through the CEO and the Tribal Commission.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs was not involved.  I don’t believe that there was as aggressive cancellation policy in their agreement as with the Agua Caliente. In addition to the existing billboards that CBS/Outfront Media manages for the Morongo Tribe, a new digital billboard was built on the property by CBS. Based on our agreement with the Morongo Tribe, the Tribe paid all the expenses for the construction of the new sign.

You can reach Andy at, 310-721-8422.


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