85.7 F
San Fernando
Monday, Jan 30, 2023
-Advertisement-

Hotels Hopeful About New Tourism District

Santa Clarita hotel managers and city officials hope the city’s recently approved Tourism Marketing District will help attract new visitors and boost tourism. On May 25, the city council unanimously passed an ordinance establishing the district, which adds an additional 2-percent tax to hotel visitors’ tabs and raises the total tax amount to 12 percent, said Amy Sparks, administrative analyst for the city’s tourism division. The funds collected will be used for marketing campaigns used to increase awareness about the city, the city’s five hotels and major local events expected to attract high volumes of tourists. Funds could even help pay for the costs of hosting the revenue-generating events, Sparks said. The hotels within the district include Best Western Valencia Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn Express and Hyatt Regency. Sparks said the change will help make Santa Clarita stand out more in travelers’ minds. Destination point “It’s always been that they go off the freeway to Magic Mountain (and) they don’t see the entire town, but we want to make it more of a destination while they’re in town,” she said. The district’s advisory board will likely focus on bringing more sports events to the city, Sparks said. “In the past last couple of years, we’ve been getting more and more involved in sports tourism,” she said. “We definitely have the facilities, and we have the fields. … It’s just a matter of going after those events that actually bring tournaments to town.” In the past, the city has hosted major events such as the PGA Champions Classic, Amgen Tour of California and Western States Police and Fire Games, which added more than $10 million to the local economy, Sparks said. Brian Murphy, general manager of Embassy Suites in Valencia, said he would like to see the district bring more business to hotels during off-season times. As for the additional tax, Murphy said he does not expect it to deter customers from using the hotels, especially since Santa Clarita’s total tax rate of 12 percent is low compared to those of other cities. “You’re talking about another $2 or $3 from the night,” Murphy said. “I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of slippage from that.” Chamber support The district has also received support from Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce’s board members, who view it as a way to boost the local economy as a whole, said Chamber President and CEO Ed Masterson. “It benefits our organization and the community at large,” Masterson said. “The reality is that when people come stay at those hotels, they also spend elsewhere in the valley as well so the trickle-down financial affect is a boom to the community as a whole.” Administrators from the five hotels and two employees from the city’s economic development division were appointed by the city council to serve as the district’s advisory board for the 2010-11 fiscal year. The board is assigned to make recommendations to the city council to help decide how the funds will be used, according to the ordinance. The program is expected to collect enough in assessments to produce a budget of $400,000 during its first year. The district’s budget is expected to increase after additional revenues are generated from increased hotel stays, Sparks said. Other cities that have similar districts include Newport Beach, Oceanside and San Diego. Santa Clarita’s tourism marketing district is set to take effect on July 1.

-Advertisement-

Featured Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-

Related Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-