Truckee tourism district would garner $340K annually to improve economy
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Amid scenic forests and historic streetscapes, an effort to build Truckee into a destination not only to play, but to live and work, has taken another step forward.
Last week, the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce’s resolution of intent to establish the Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District gained unanimous approval from Truckee Town Council.
Council members applauded the chamber’s efforts to develop new ways in which businesses that collect transient occupancy taxes can diversify and grow during the shoulder seasons.
“You talk April; you talk November — businesses can determine what time of year is more beneficial,” said Lynn Saunders, the chamber’s president and CEO.
In other words, town and chamber officials are hoping to woo new and old tourists and entice new professionals to Truckee to help grow and diversify its local economy.
UPPING OVERNIGHT TOURISM
The business district would include all lodging businesses — hotels, motels, triplexes, duplexes and homes — located within town limits.
According to the chamber, there are 454 lodging businesses within town limits, and each would be assessed an annual rate of 2 percent of gross short-term rental revenue.
If established, the district could generate roughly $340,000 annually for promotion of travel and tourism specific to Truckee, according to the proposal.
Those fees would be collected, and a management committee elected by the district would assess its determined uses.
According to the chamber, the initiative aims to market district businesses as destinations, in the hopes of increasing night sales and overnight tourism.
Town officials would be responsible for collecting the assessment on a quarterly basis from each lodging business.
The proposed district will have a five-year life, beginning Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2020. Afterward, the fee would be revisited.
Organizers will hold a public meeting before the council at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, to allow feedback regarding the district’s formation and the levy of assessments.
A final meeting is tentatively scheduled for the Sept. 22 town council meeting, where council members will determine whether or not to approve the district.
GOING HAND IN HAND?
The tourism district proposal is in addition to other initiatives geared toward building a diverse and sustainable economy within Truckee’s borders, Saunders said.
“It’s about attracting people who want a certain quality of life,” she said.
Saunders and the chamber are hosting a workshop Tuesday night as part of its effort to create an official “brand” for Truckee.
The workshop is part of the chamber’s recent collaboration with the Keith Design Group to oversee an effort to revamp the Truckee.com website and create a vision of the town “that distinguishes the unique experiences and lifestyles one can have here, unlike any other community,” according to the chamber.
The “Brand Truckee” initiative includes a $150,000 start-up cost, with $75,000 provided by the town through its Economic Development Support program, and the remainder by the chamber through local business and district contributions.
“Truckee needs a bigger voice,” Saunders said. “If Truckee is still thought of one way, how do we want Truckee to be thought of five years from now?
“We need to be able to accurately identify what this community is to its community.”
Saunders said the workshop Tuesday is the first of three to give people who live in Truckee a voice to develop the town’s brand.