Local Organizations, Businesses Apply for HOT Funds
City considers Hotel Occupancy Tax funding for new budget year
Published Sept. 23, 2011 @ 6 a.m.
Five local organizations and/or businesses were on the agenda to request Hotel Occupancy Tax funds during the September City Council meeting. These funds are established from hotel/motel tax money and are designated to be spent on activities that are likely to bring people to the community for an overnight stay.
The first presenter was Ian Torrens, owner of Hotel Garza. Mr. Torrens reported that the occupancy tax funds received last year were used to purchase advertising for the hotel at a large movie theater complex in Lubbock. As a result of that exposure, the hotel has increased the number of Murder Mystery Weekends and each of those has been 100% attended. He requested $5564.00 to continue this advertising for the coming year.
John Davis, Communications/Marketing Director with the Garza Theatre, along with other members of the theater board of directors, came before the council; however, Mr. Davis was under the impression that the discussion would be related to the recent engineering report that brought about the closing of the theater building. The city manager explained that the council could only consider and act on items that were on the agenda and the closing of the building was not. After some informal discussion regarding problems with the building (owned by the City of Post, occupied by Garza Theatre), Davis asked for a task force so “we can work together on this.” He also asked that the city “work with the theater on retrieving property such as sets.” City Manager Taylor assured the group that the engineering report and related issues would be on the agenda for the October City Council meeting. (See related story “Garza Theatre Performances Cancelled” published Sept. 14, The Garza Post)
Millie Sentell, President of the Caprock Cultural Association asked for Hotel Occupancy Tax funds for two projects the organization has planned. The group will have a booth at the Lubbock Bridal Show in January and asked for $1500 to help with expenses related to this event. Sentell gave the council statistics regarding the number of hotel/motel rooms that were used during the past year that related directly to weddings and receptions that were held at the Heritage House. (The Heritage House is owned and managed by the Caprock Cultural Association.) The CCA is also planning a weekend photography event next spring and requested $6000 to help promote that event throughout the region.
Alton Frazier, President of Post City Merchants, along with two other representatives of the organization explained that the group is seeking HOT funds to help promote Post and the Trade Day event. “Every penny we take in [from booth rentals] is put back into advertising,” Frazier explained. The group currently advertises on Snyder radio and is asking for $6000 to expand to Slaton radio, area newspapers and possibly a billboard.
Jackie Cruse, representative of Post City Festivals also asked for $6000 to advertise the Christmas Light Show. Cruse did not have a formal presentation for the council, but explained that he would consider advertising in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Lubbock Magazine. He further indicated that after he received the funding he could provide details of the planned advertising.
The Council will hear requests for hotel occupancy tax funds during the October City Council meeting before any funding is approved.