Elkhorn City Needs a Local Tourism and Convention Commission

Two Years ago today I wrote a post entitled 10 things Elkhorn City Must do to Thrive!  Now we are going to take a look at  each one of the 10 things individually and point out the specific steps that can be taken to accomplish each point.   (The good news is we have already accomplished items 3a 3b and 3c and the mayor is doing a great job with item 4.)

Number 1 on the list was “Establish a Local Tourism and Convention

Paddling the Meatgrinder

Paddling the Meatgrinder

Commission.”  The Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association has written an excellent document entitled “Tourism 101 Manual “ on how to establish a local tourism commission.  The first question is…

What is a Tourist Commission?   Let’s take a look at what the manual has to say.

“A tourist commission is a nonprofit organization formed to promote tourism in a community and is typically funded by a transient room tax also known as a “bed tax.” The funds collected for a tourist commission can be used only for the promotion of tourism. The tourist commission is governed by a board, which gets the community involved as well as the local government, because representatives from both must participate. A paid staff at the tourist commission promotes and develops tourism in the community. This staff typically produces brochures, attends travel shows, and promotes the community outside the region by following an organized marketing and advertising plan. As a result of this type of promotion, tourism properties in the area can expand, benefiting the local economy.”

The second question we should ask is, Why do we need one?  We need one for alot of reasons.  First and foremost, is having a local  body as a Tourism Commission enables a community to chart its  own course  in marketing itself and it tourism development.  Elkhorn City would not be dependent on Pikeville and Pike County’s Tourism Commission.  All the other reasons will be apparent as I go through the process of how Elkhorn City can establish a local tourism commission.

The Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS), specifically, KRS 91A.350(2) enables Elkhorn City can establish its’ own local tourist and convention commission for the purpose of promoting and developing convention and tourist activities and facilities.

Who is on the Tourist Commission?

In Kentucky KRS 91A.360  governs membership  of Tourist and Convention Commissions.

In Elkhorn City, a Tourist and Convention Commission members would be appointed by the mayor with at least 2 citizens form the local city hotel and motel association.  Elkhorn City does not have a hotel and motel association.  In this instance KRS 91A.360 states,  “If no formal local city or county hotel and motel association is in existence upon the establishment of a commission or upon the expiration of the term of a commissioner appointed pursuant to this subsection, then up to three (3) commissioners shall be appointed by the appropriate chief executive officer or officers from persons residing within the jurisdiction of the commission and representing local hotels or motels”

1 commissioner form the local restaurant association

“If no formal local restaurant association or associations exist upon the establishment of a commission or upon the expiration of the term of a commissioner appointed pursuant to this subsection, then one (1) commissioner shall be appointed by the appropriate chief executive officer or officers from persons residing within the jurisdiction of the commission and representing a local restaurant”

1 form the local  chamber of commerce

If no local chamber of commerce is in existence upon the establishment of a commission or upon the expiration of the term of a commissioner appointed pursuant to this subsection, then one (1) commissioner shall be appointed by the appropriate chief executive officer or officers from persons residing within the jurisdiction of the commission and representing local businesses”

(D) 2 commissioners by the mayor

KRS 91A.390 provides that the City can enact a Room Tax 3% and that  “(2) All moneys collected pursuant to this section and KRS 91A.400 shall be maintained in an account separate and unique from all other funds and revenues collected, and shall be considered tax revenue for the purposes of KRS 68.100 and KRS 92.330”

Elkhorn City can also enact a Restaurant tax through  KRS 91A.400  Restaurant tax in cities of the fourth and fifth class.

In addition to 3% room tax a 3% sales tax on … All moneys collected must be turned over to the Tourist and convention commission in the city as provided by KRS 91A.350 to 91A.390.

It would not hurt any of our current business by the imposing of the additional taxes.  Believe me we all pay them when we go to Pikeville to eat out or most any other town in Kentucky.  It does not make sense for the businesses to complain about the extra taxes since all the money goes back into market and promoting Elkhorn City which then brings in more business.

Here are some helpful links for planning and help in this area:

Tourism 101 Manuel

Elkhorn City Economic Development and Tourism Planning Resources

https://timbelcher.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/economic-development-planning-sources-for-elkhorn-city/

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