Frisco starts spending funds from lodging tax
FRISCO – Frisco’s new lodging tax garnered $97,035 through March and town officials are already spending the money on marketing and events.
The tax is expected to total $250,000 in new revenue over the year.
The question of how to spend $100,000 earmarked for recreational amenities and economic development has not been decided, town officials said.
Local hotelier Scott Brunvand, general manager of the Best Western Lake Dillon Lodge, hopes the business community gets a say in the matter.
In January, lodges began charging the 2.35 percent lodging tax that brought the total sales tax on hotel rooms to 10 percent.
The new tax was approved by voters last year.
Sixty percent of this year’s estimated $250,000 in revenue will be allocated to advertising, marketing and special events and 40 percent will go to recreational amenities.
The town council recently approved expenditures totaling $36,300 for Interstate 70 attractions signs, a Comcast Colorado Front Range cable TV advertising campaign, Internet ads on the Summit Daily News Web site and wireless Internet connections in several locations to be open to the public.
Future collections this year will support several of the town’s planned summer events, with $53,200 earmarked for the Music on Main street party and a concert on July 3.
An additional $30,500 will be spent on Music on Main to help bring the band “38 Special” to the July 17 event.
A July 3 concert is being added to the Fourth of July mix to extend the festivities and create a two-day event to keep visitors in Frisco over the holiday weekend. BeatleMania will be the featured act at a total cost of $22,700 for production of the concert.
According to a press release, the town has not decided how to spend the set-aside money for recreational amenities and economic development.
“The council will be developing plans for this portion of the lodging tax revenue in the coming months,” a town press release said.
Brunvand said he is concerned about how the money generated by the new tax will be spent.
“What’s going to recreation amenities and what’s going to marketing?” Brunvand asked. “I think it would be nice for the lodging community to have some input.”
Brunvand said a committee to include members of the lodging community would be appropriate to help the town figure out how to spend the money.
He suggested the money should benefit the lodging community and not pay for items usually funded by general revenues.
“Any marketing they can do is great,” Brunvand said. “That will directly affect us, but I don’t know what they mean by recreational amenities.
“The lodging tax is not a bad thing,” Brunvand said. “The town needed the money and if we can steer it in the right direction, we will be meeting the next hurdle.”
Lodging tax revenue is currently about 6 percent below projections, but some collections have not been received by properties that report quarterly to the town.
“Overall, our lodging properties are showing an increase over sales tax collected by the end of March 2003, so we believe we are on track with the new lodging tax revenue projections,” interim town manager Theresa Casey said.
One fear about the new tax was that it would chase away business. Brunvand said he had one longtime customer surprised by the added cost on his long-standing 14-day group reservation.
Brunvand said the customer, who had stayed at the lodge in Frisco every year for more than 10 years, was upset that the lodge had to go back and collect more money for his group’s March stay.
Brunvand said the incident was isolated, and he didn’t think the new tax would cause the lodge to lose business in the long run.
Kim Marquis can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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