Visitors Bureau OKs budget, bond savings

A tentative budget of $1.2 million and a bond-refunding decision that eventually will save $289,000 were handled by Carson City’s Convention and Visitors Bureau board Monday.

The board voted unanimously to approve the tentative $1,213,735 budget figure for fiscal year 2013-14, but it is just informational for the state and could change markedly before being finalized in May.

“You have all the flexibility in the world,” Linda Ritter, bureau interim executive director, told the board. She also said it basically was based on the current year’s budget. “I will tell you, it’s rough.”

The bureau is financed by hotel room, or lodging, taxes of 10 percent with revenues divided 5 percent for operations, 4 percent for the V&T Railway tourism train project and the final 1 percent going to state government, Ritter said.

The board also voted without dissent to refund $2.8 million in bonding, getting an interest rate that will save about $25,000 annually or the $289,000 figure over time. Ritter said an example is the indebtedness figure for 2014, which will drop from $129,137 to $106,370 due to the board’s action.

Ritter also told the board at least nine people have applied for permanent executive director post since the position was re-advertised recently.

In other action, the board voted to have staffers investigate providing the city some room-tax revenues to allow for hiring someone to handle special event programming. Ritter said it would be a significant change, but a person in that position could attract and coordinate events that would heighten room-tax revenues via increased lodging-related visits.

The board also instructed staffers to investigate having the city handle financial services for the bureau and heard a report from Ritter that included an economic-impact assessment for the American Motorcycle Association event in the city last July. The estimated impact for that event is about $600,000, Ritter said.


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