Tourism discuss new options for promotion of local area
On Sept. 22, the tourism and tax board met to discuss new options for promoting the local area as well as reviewing previous projects. During the past year, the board sponsored numerous projects which amounted to a total cost of about $57,143 out of $251,643 from relevant tax revenue, according to the board's documents.
For this year, however, tourism is not looking as strong as in years past. Utah's economy was hit by the recession and has slowed 25 percent since 2006. Carbon County has not escaped this trend and also experienced an overall economic slowdown of 18 percent. Tourism, local lodging and restaurant revenues are down, with restaurant taxes amounting to 10 percent less than last year. The number of people lodging in the county has fallen 30 to 40 percent.
According to Dustin Wardle, who represented local hotels, their decrease in business was expected because, last year, large extraction companies were doing a lot of work in the area. The board will, however, stay on budget for the year and has planned future undertakings.
Although the financial outlook might have been an optimal environment in which to promote tourism, a few of the board's more recent projects were reviewed. The following events or sponsorships used funds or were recommended by the board to receive money.
Black Diamond Rodeo was represented by Dave Levanger and purchased about $1,734 for advertising. The event also experienced a 10 percent increase in participants with a crowd of 4,000.
The Castle Gate Robbery accepted $3,000 for advertising in Cowboy Chronicle magazine.
Desert Thunder Racing was recommended to receive $500.
Castle Country magazine, a free publication that is a 50 percent co-op with the state of Utah, has a circulation of about 50,000 and costs 81 cents per issue to print. It is printed in Ogden and received $12,500 for expenses.
New BLM signs for Nine Mile Canyon attraction sites were approved with a cost ranging from $21,919 to $22,000.
Notre Dame Oktoberfest was designated to receive $2,300 for banners.
The discussion revealed that because some of these events are income-generating ventures, in order to qualify for specific funding (advertising), they must accept money on a basis of recompensation. However, one of the nonprofit endeavors recommended to receive funds is a project to place new signs in Nine Mile Canyon to help tourists easily find the sights they are seeking. The proposed signs will include better maps and be better equipped to withstand the trails that are located in a sparsely populated area.