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Proposed tax raises concerns

Lu Snyder

FRISCO – When Frisco officials were looking at the feasibility of a golf course on the peninsula, the town meeting they held was filled with citizens. On Wednesday, when officials reviewed their plans for economic development and the proposed lodging tax, only about 20 people attended the meeting.

As Frisco Mayor Bob Moscatelli said, the small turnout was either an indication that citizens weren’t interested in the discussion or that they are happy with town officials’ decisions to date.

Several members of the lodging community were among those who attended Wednesday’s meeting. While they were generally supportive of the proposed tax, they expressed some concerns.

The town council is proposing a 2.35 percent lodging tax, which will go to the voters in November. If approved, tourists staying overnight in hotels, motels, condominiums and other lodging facilities for a month or less would pay the tax.

Officials are proposing to use the tax for economic development, advertising, marketing and special events, recreation amenities, multipurpose facilities and open space and the operation and maintenance of those amenities.

“I’m supportive of it in general, but not the current format of it,” said Murray Bain, owner of Bighorn Rentals in Frisco, adding that he’d prefer a 2 percent lodging tax, which would bring Frisco’s total taxes to 9.65 percent – the same as Silverthorne and Dillon – instead of 10 percent.

“That would make us a little more competitive,” Bain said. “In these current economic times, we’ve got to do everything to be competitive.”

Bain also is concerned he may have to pay some of the taxes himself. If any of his guests pay the balance of their bills before their arrival – at the current tax rate, before the lodging tax is approved – Bain could be stuck paying the difference.

Scott Brunvand, general manager of the Best Western Lake Dillon Lodge in Frisco, said he’s concerned that some of the money from the tax could go to open space – which he feels won’t benefit the lodging community or bring more people to Frisco.

“That scares me,” he said.

The lodging tax could be a good thing, said Lester Warpecha, owner of Alpine Inn, but only if the town spends the money wisely. To him, that means the majority of the money should be dedicated to advertising, marketing and to building amenities such as a convention center or an ice rink.

Lu Snyder can be reached at

(970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

lsnyder@summitdaily.com.


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