LTVA sees success |

LTVA sees success

South Shore’s economy is improving, largely thanks to increases in tourism promotions. That was the message delivered Thursday to the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association.

Private sector contributions to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority marketing programs have grown significantly over the past two years, LTVA Director Terry LeBan told the lodging association members on Thursday. With those extra dollars, promotions have also increased, bringing in more tourists who stay longer.

Every dollar received by the LTVA from the city and Douglas County room tax revenue is matched $3.43 by private sector contributions, LeBan said.

“It’s a good deal,” she said. “Private sector participation is increasing.”

In 1997, the LTVA saw a 10.5 percent increase in private sector dollars. In 1998, it increased by 9.9 percent.

The number of room nights booked has increased 83 percent in the city and 17 percent in Douglas County for the fiscal year to date, October through May, LeBan said.

According to the 1999 Visitors Model Study, an average group of three visitors spends $655 per day,

With that influx of visitors, city revenue is increasing.

Sales tax collections are the highest they’ve been in four years, LeBan said. Transient occupancy taxes, so far, are up 9.9 percent.

The economic impact of a conservative 5 percent increase in room nights translates into $30 million impact for the city and $17 million for the county, LeBan said.

The LTVA report served as the foundation for an effort by the lodging association to block the City Council from diverting funds from promotions to recreation.

“What we have going right now is working,” said association Secretary/Treasurer Jim Beattie. “It’s a finely tuned machine that’s balanced now.”

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