Notes from Today’s TDC Meeting
- Bed Taxes are up $117,000 thanks to back-taxes being collected.
- The Circus by the Sea is more than likely coming back. Maybe it will draw more crowds next year.
- The CVB has a new interactive marketing manager coming on board.
- Rowe distributed estimates of costs of strategic plan proposals to board. I’ll be asking for copies of those to post here soon.
- Mayor Gayle Oberst explained that Panama City Beach could not use bed taxes to fund lifeguards. As one Marketing Committee member told me later, it’s a good thing we’re smarter than Walton county on that issue. I have a lifeguard manifesto brewing; I’m sure it’ll come out any day now.
- The TDC’s market research firm, Klages, is up for contract renewal, and the board showed concern that the 2008 results were not worth the investment. Tabled. Marketing Research, tabled.
Now to the juicy stuff…
Spring Break is heating up quickly… Spring Break funding was tabled after Dan Rowe requested approval on the MTVu plan ($150K CVB, $100K co-op).
Chairman Andy Phillips and Marketing Committee Chairman Buddy Wilkes questioned whether the co-op could really raise $100K. Mr. Rowe believes so; however lodging leaders stepped up quickly and said that because of the exclusive booking deal MTVu has with Student City, they would not participate in that co-op.
Board member Mike Bennett suggests the funding should go into a different Spring Break program. Dan Rowe suggested that if it’s not MTVu, then put the money in something other than Spring Break. Jack Bishop said the Klages report proved the CVB should invest the $150,000 into Spring Break. (It’s getting good!)
Folks in the audience suggested that only the Boardwalk benefited from the 2008 Spring Break plan. (It’s really getting good!)
There was a hint that there may be another Spring Break community workshop. The marketing committee will address the issue before the next TDC meeting on November 6. (Don’t you think this is going to get good!?)
And More Utter Disregard for the Special Event Policy
The Board unanimously approved 2009 funding for the Panama City Beach Seafood, Wine, & Music Festival. Wow. Wasn’t even on the agenda.
Special Event Side Note – Do you realize that 3.25 million dollars worth of lodging has to be brought in to raise $65K in bed taxes?
If PCBSWMF would have reported the need for $65,000 invested in the infrastructure at Frank Brown Park for next year’s event, that would be different. PCBSWMF Promoter Jack Bishop stated that the event could not serve 30,000 attendees as reported by previous promoters. Hopefully PCBSWMF will use all $65K to improve the infrastructure. We’ll see.
Speaking of we’ll see, we’ll see the full PCBSWMF report next month. Hopefully that report will include exactly how and where the 2008 TDC investment was spent.
In the meantime, we sure would like to have other promoters comment here with your thoughts on the TDC’s Special Events “Policy.”
If I misinterpreted anyone’s comments from today’s meeting, please email me at email@example.com, or even better yet, clarify your message right here in the comments section.