2D funds promise a ‘new era of tourism’ for Breckenridge | SummitDaily.com

2D funds promise a ‘new era of tourism’ for Breckenridge

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Taxes on lodging in Breckenridge will increase 1 percent beginning Jan. 1, 2011, with the success of ballot measure 2D, which voters overwhelmingly supported at the polls Tuesday.

The tax, approved with 71 percent of the vote, is expected to furnish Breckenridge with $740,000 annually, new dollars that will help fund marketing efforts to draw destination guests to Breckenridge.

With the new funds, Breckenridge will have approximately $3 million earmarked for marketing next year from a variety of sources. The Breckenridge Resort Chamber (BRC) contributes $750,000, collected from membership dues, special events and the ski resort. The remainder will come from taxes collected by the Town of Breckenridge. In addition to the lodging tax dollars, $600,000 will come from the Business Occupation License Tax and $250,000 from sales taxes.

With 2D in place, 1.9 percent of the town’s 3.4 percent lodging tax will be allocated to marketing, 1 percent from the 2D tax increase, the .4 percent allocated in previous years and an additional .5 percent added by the town for the next five years.

The money is sustainable and will put Breckenridge’s marketing spending on par with its nearby competition, supporters say. Competing ski towns Vail and Aspen/Snowmass spend $3.8 million and just over $4 million, respectively, on marketing.

The Breckenridge Marketing Advisory Committee, an advisory board that will manage the marketing budget, has not yet determined how the funds will be used, but has established basic strategies for spending the money. The strategies include incorporating destination-guest focused marketing into “all aspects of the town’s marketing portfolio,” promoting new and current events and programs in town and maximizing marketing efficiency by staying on top of new approaches and technologies that become available, according to a goals statement presented to the town council Oct. 26.

Marketing advisory committee member Bruce Horri said he sees “events as something that could bolster some of those shoulder times or off-peak times. We don’t want to just come out and come up with new events in the times that are already busy, but we want to kind of place them in times that will incrementally grow our business.”

BRC representatives say the new dollars also present an opportunity to get Breckenridge into new markets, which could include targeting guests in previously untapped parts of the US or the UK.

“This is an exciting point for Breckenridge,” BRC president and CEO John McMahon said. “It’s been 15 years in the making for developing a more sustainable marketing fund. We’re all anxious to get started developing the programs that go with the new dollars … It’s a new era for tourism in Breckenridge.”

Work on how and where the new funds will be spent will begin at the next marketing committee meeting, at 10 a.m. Nov. 9. The committee encourages the public and anyone interested in voicing opinions on future marketing efforts to attend the meeting.

“The more people that come to have input on how we should do this, how we should better market our community, (the better),” said town councilman Mike Dudick. “We want as many voices in the community as possible.”

The measure will increase lodging taxes in Breckenridge from 2.4 percent to 3.4 percent beginning Jan. 1 on overnight accommodations including hotel rooms, motel rooms and vacation rentals. The tax will be applied to rooms occupied on or after Jan. 1, regardless of whether the guests prepaid on the room. Whether the additional tax on prepaid rooms rented on or after Jan. 1 is collected from the guest during their stay or absorbed by the renter is at the renter’s discretion, but the additional money will be owed to the town either way.

SDN reporter Caddie Nath can be reached at (970) 668-4628 or at cnath@summitdaily.com.

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