Truckee chamber going to town for yearly tourism funding
October 31, 2007
Truckee residents know the town is a great place to live.But, the job of the local chamber of commerce is to make sure potential tourists know its a great place to visit.The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce runs a visitor center and advertises the town in a variety of publications to keep the tourist dollars coming, but needs town funding to keep those operations running.I think doing these things is very important, said Lynn Saunders, the chambers president and chief operating officer. Truckee is absolutely a tourism destination, but they dont just come without knowing about us. To alert future visitors about Truckee, Saunders said the chamber pays for advertisements in such magazines as Better Homes andamp; Gardens, Sunset, Nevada County Gold, Triple As VIA, and the History Channel Magazine.In concert with Switchback, a Truckee public relations firm, the chamber works to add mentions of Truckee in magazine articles for greater exposure, she said.In [public relations] last year, we spent $30,000 and generated $2.6 million in publicity, Saunders said.
While the chamber hasnt estimated how much revenue its efforts generate, Saunders said tourism brings in a substantial amount of transient occupancy tax from hotel visits and sales tax from visitors shopping in town.President Stefanie Olivieri of the Downtown Merchants Association said she is happy with the chambers advertising campaign, and the two groups work together to promote Truckee.I think the chamber does an excellent job bringing tourism to the area, Olivieri said. I believe their efforts get good results.The chamber obtains promotional funding from the Town of Truckee, contracting since 1998 for a percentage of the towns transient occupancy tax revenue, according to town staff reports.For fiscal year 2007-08, the chamber is asking for $142,153 for visitor center operations, $142,223 for marketing and promotion, and a one-time addition of $25,000, coming to a total of $309,386, according to the report.The requested funds represent a small increase from what the town granted the chamber last year.The $25,000 would come from a 22 percent growth in transient occupancy tax, said Alex Terrazas, assistant to the town manager.The proposed increase is to share the growth in the transient occupancy tax, Terrazas said. That growth is potentially an indication of the success of their marketing.The enhanced revenues is intended to pay for Internet marketing, Saunders said, which will expand the towns national and international reach.The visitor center funding goes to salaries for staff, rent, services, and other normal operating expenses, Saunders said.