Originally Published: September 2, 2017 5:59 a.m.
Three local organizations will receive more bed tax money to promote their events, and the committee making the recommendations is now a standing committee of the city, based on recent City Council decisions.
In two unanimous actions on Aug. 29, the Prescott City Council approved revised allocations of the bed-tax grants that go to local events, and it formalized the Tourism Advisory Committee that has been meeting for the past eight years on an independent basis.
City Community Outreach Manager John Heiney told the council that staff members had revised the proposed allocations of bed-tax grants, based on feedback at the Aug. 8 council meeting.
At the earlier meeting, the council members heard from organizers of the Corvette Car Show about the significant reduction in the proposed amount of bed tax money that the September event was slated to get.
Heiney explained that the Tourism Advisory Committee had recommended lower amounts for some of its tourism grant applicants to follow the existing guidelines for the grants. Because organizers of three of the applying organizations had indicated a smaller marketing budget, they were recommended to get a smaller amount.
On Aug. 8, council members questioned the strict adherence to the guidelines and instructed staff to restore the allocations to the requested amounts.
Under that direction, the council agreed to award: $5,000 to the Corvette Car Show; $4,800 to the PAAC Car Show; and $4,000 to the Wild Lights event. Heiney identified those three events as the ones affected by the stricter adherence to the guidelines.
Other allocations, which did not change from what was proposed on Aug. 8, include: $4,000 for the Bluegrass Festival; $4,000 for the Boot Drop; $4,000 for the Highland Games; $2,800 for the Jazz Summit; $5,000 for the Prescott Intertribal Social Pow Wow; $2,000 for the Whiskey Row Marathon; and $1,500 for the Yavapai County Fair.
The council annually awards a portion of the money generated through a tax on hotels and motels to local organizations and events that help to bring tourists to the community. After the revisions, this year’s tourism grant allocations totaled $37,100.
Along with the approval of the awards, the council approved one-and-a-half-year to three-year terms for the 10 Tourism Advisory Committee members who have been serving on the independent board.
They are: Tim Graham, Amore Cianciola, Fred Veil, Kim Villalpando, Steve Bracety, Margo Christensen, Cindy Gresser, Bill McLeary, Matt Brassard, and Sheri Heiney. In addition, City Councilwoman Billie Orr serves as the council liaison to the board.
Heiney noted that the members now will go through the city’s appointment process and background check, which he said on Friday, Sept. 1, is already underway.
The committee, which has been meeting on the third Thursday of the month, will conduct its next meeting at noon, Sept. 21, in lower-level conference room at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St. The organizing meeting will include election of a chair and co-chair, and a review of meeting rules and the Open Meeting Law requirements.