LTVA gets away from it all to make some decisions |

LTVA gets away from it all to make some decisions

by Sally J. Taylor

How to trim $400,000 worth of Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority programs next year is one item of discussion at the LTVA Board of Directors planning retreat Wednesday.

During the current fiscal year ending in October, several unexpected funding sources allowed the LTVA to expand its marketing programs.

“This year’s budget was inflated by one-time allocations and one-time revenues,” said LTVA Director Terry LeBan. “Next year, we’re going back to reality.”

Traditional funding is primarily generated from transient occupancy taxes in South Lake Tahoe and Douglas County. The county, which begins its fiscal year in July, has committed $1.4 million in keeping with historical levels. The city is just beginning its budget negotiations for a fiscal year that begins in October but is expected to commit an amount similar to last year’s $679,000.

Other funds come from the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Tournament advanced ticket sales, various other sales and matching dollars from Tahoe businesses for advertising in LTVA products.

The LTVA was able to expand its original 1997-98 marketing plan with the release of a $250,000 reserve account, a special $184,000 allocation from Douglas County and a $90,000 advertising rebate.

Among the items expected to receive close scrutiny is the contract with Blaine Henry’s Development Associates to promote Lake Tahoe in Britain and neighboring countries. In February, the board approved $59,500 for that effort from the reserve account, a source that is not available for 1998-99.

“The board will have $400,000 in cuts to struggle with from the current programs,” LeBan said.

Also during the planning retreat, the LTVA will review its strategic plan, approved last year after “a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” LeBan said.

Part of the plan calls for a long-range marketing plan. However, the creation last year of the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority by the Nevada Legislature puts a large chunk of funding in an uncertain position.

Beginning in July 1999, the TDVA will begin to manage Douglas County’s TOT funds earmarked for promotions. Currently, the new organization is still developing the groundwork for its own decision-making policies.

To help solidify future funding, the LTVA is “trying to show what we’re doing (in the long-term) to take the gray out,” LeBan said. Then, each year, the plan can be renewed and another year or two added on.

The meeting is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Echo Creek Ranch on Old Meyers Grade. For information and directions, call the LTVA office at 544-5050.

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