Spread the word, Manzanita’s Off-Season Tourism Advisory Commission endeavors to get the word out about available funding.
By Brian Cameron
Back in 2012 the Manzanita City Council chose to raise the city-wide transient lodging tax from 7 percent to 9 percent. Due to stipulations within Oregon State statutes regarding the usage of transient lodging tax dollars it says that any tax adopted after 2003 has to allocate 70 percent of increased revenue in the tax for tourism promotion and facilities projects.
During that time the City created the Tourism Promotion and Facilities Fund within its budget to account for the use of this added revenue and since then the fund has predominately been used in the construction and maintenance of the Manzanita Visitor’s Center, a decision that has been widely supported by local residents.
“The City Council realized that the community did not want to promote tourism in the summer when facilities are already stretched to their limit without any formal promotion,” said City Manager Jerry Taylor.
Because of the Visitor’s Center not requiring as much funds during the off season the Committee decided that because the funds needed to be used for tourism promotion that a good focus would be for the off season to help mitigate the ‘feast or famine’ style of seasonal revenue the coast is known for.
“We don’t need a strong tourism scene in the summer,” said Hans Tonjes, City Councilor and Chair of the Off Seasonal Tourism Advisory Committee. “We need to help inject much needed funding to non profits, businesses and organizations that help prop up the community when the rains begin to fall.”
The Off Seasonal Tourism Advisory Committee is charged with review and recommendation for grants given to non-profit and business organizations in order to promote and advertise events specifically during the off-season.
So far the only entity to be granted funding for available finances is the Hoffman Center for The Arts in the form of a grant for $4,550 which was allocated to overhaul its website in order to provide better community information during the non-summer months.
“As of this point the biggest hurdle we have with the funding program is simply getting the word out to folks that money is available for application,” said Dan Haag with the Manzanita Visitor’s Center. “It’s a great resource for anyone who would like to create an off-season event, workshop, etc., we are trying to get more people to participate in the process.”