Money for marketing city recreation?
March 19, 2006
One of the most talked-about pots of money in recent memory has made the South Lake Tahoe City Council agenda again.
Now that funding for a pedestrian-activated traffic signal at the Heavenly Village crosswalk is secured, the city may decide Tuesday to re-allocate money once appropriated for the defunct Tourism Promotion Business Improvement District. The controversial business fee program reached a stalemate, and board members recommended to the council that it disband.
The city kicked in $70,000 for the effort aimed at offsetting the loss of marketing subsidies to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. About $21,000 was consumed in administrative fees, leaving $49,000.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department wants $24,000 of that money to promote its facilities such as the ice arena in publications targeting the Carson Valley, North Lake Tahoe and Carson City.
Recreation Superintendent Gary Moore met with the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority to share ideas about its preferred approaches to marketing the city’s amenities. Moore wants to create an activity guide, broadcast radio commercials and use the Internet to sell the venues to specific audiences.
“Marketing efforts have a greater return on investment when identified and aimed at specific targets,” Moore contends.
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The LTVA, which promotes lake tourism to a wider area, has also requested for a chunk of the funding to hire a special events marketing person.
The South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association has also asked for part of the pie to go toward marketing.
The groups had backed off when the city was scraping together $245,000 to pay for a signal at the Park Avenue crosswalk. But when it appeared enough funding was gathered, the requests re-circulated.
In other business, the council may:
— Allocate up to $24,950 for LSC Transportation Consultants to evaluate vehicle and pedestrian traffic, along with parking and trails along Harrison Avenue. The Tahoe City firm, which conducted a roundabout study for the city, will also look at foot traffic on Park Avenue.
— The South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency may proceed with refinancing its bond debt, with the idea of saving $1.5 million on the life of the bonds. The city’s agency will receive a report from its underwriter on Tuesday that highlights its upgraded credit bond rating of A-minus.