November 21, 2012 | LXXII, No. 34

Chamber asks for tourism funds

The chamber of commerce made a pitch for hotel/motel tax money at Coulee Dam’s Council meeting last Wednesday night.

Manager Peggy Nevsimal walked council members through a comprehensive $61,000 plan on how the chamber was going to use the promotional funds to attract both nearby visitors and those from the west side of the mountains.

She pointed out to the council that Electric City was going to take in from lodging establishments some $65,000 a year; Grand Coulee, about $40,000; and Coulee Dam about $30,000.

The tax, collected on rooms and campground stays, by law must be spent on the promotion of tourism.

Nevsimal asked the council to contribute to the chamber’s proposed $61,000 budget proportionally, or about $13,500 of the total.

All the while, the council had already designated, in budget workshops, only $5,000 to the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce for 2013.

Mayor Pro Tem Ben Alling said the council would have to consider the higher amount and referred the matter back to the council committee that deals with hotel/motel tax funds.

The chamber plan covered three festivals — Colorama, July 4, the fall festival — as well as the Saturday Market, summer and shoulder season tourism and music concerts. Breakdowns showed the marketing plan for each part of the chamber plan.

Nevsimal explained that hotel/motel owners have asked the chamber to find ways to extend the visitor season, with May and September target months.

The council decided not to do anything on the request until final budget figures are available in December.

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