Focusing on livability

 

Last updated 2/15/2022 at Noon



In a recent interview regarding destination management, Council President Nancy Connolly addressed several adjacent topics.

•?How might a destination management organization (DMO) be paid for?

“In the ’80s, the state legislature established a state lodging tax, the Transient Lodging Tax (TLT). ‘Heads in beds’ pay a nightly tax which goes to the city or county where the lodging occurred. There are restrictions on how the funds are spent on tourism and/or used for the general fund. In the past, the City has turned TLT funds over to the Chamber to use for tourism promotion. With a DMO, allocation of TLT could be focused on supporting a

year-round program that correlates with our community values and potentially providing a future community amenity.”

•?What should residents understand about destination management?

“All City Councilors live within the city limits; we understand the balance between tourism and livability. During the past eight years, Council has addressed the following issues to help maintain our quality of life:

1.?Placed restrictions on short-term rentals so that our neighborhoods remain neighborhoods, not “de facto hotels” with increased traffic, parked cars, parties. This policy has helped prevent long-term rentals from becoming short-term rentals, thus maintaining employee housing availability.

2.?Adopted policy limiting the number of city-wide events that can occur during peak tourist season to ensure residents have access to public parks, and mitigate traffic.

3.?Placed restrictions on street closures for events to ensure mobility of residents.

4.?Reduced speed on all city streets to help ensure safer streets for pedestrians and make enforcement easier.” Connolly concluded: “Creating a DMO gives Council another way to help create a year-round program that benefits residents and tourists. It would ensure we reach visitors with shared cultural values. It gives us the ability to help preserve our natural resources by using future TLT funds on specific projects and allows us to reinvest in the community to mutually benefit residents and visitors.

 

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