Rob Neyland: Vote ‘yes’ on 2D for our guests
Breckenridge Associates Real Estate
As a long-time community member, Realtor and business owner, I urge the support of all Breckenridge voters on November 2 to protect the vitality of our resort economy by voting ‘yes’ on ballot issue 2D – increase in accommodations tax for Breckenridge.
It is ironic that as I write this, I went online to the Summit Daily’s polling website to view the accommodation tax poll. There, what should I find, above the Summit Daily banner, in the Google-sponsored ad bar were a couple of lodging/vacation ad links for Telluride. How cheeky of them! This perfectly underscores the increasingly vigorous pursuit of a dwindling number of consumers by the destination resort industry. Competition is keen in the destination travel business, and it is essential for Breckenridge’s economic vitality that we maintain a pronounced and dynamic position in the marketplace, and not lag behind in the “quest for the guest.”
Ballot issue 2D is a proposed 1 percent increase in the existing accommodations tax, with the revenues specifically dedicated for marketing. The Breckenridge Accommodations Tax as it already exists is only paid by people renting overnight or short term – less than 30 days. 2D does not change your personal taxes. The payback to the economic health of our community is incremental to the visitor, but invaluable to Breckenridge. For example, the proposed increase in accommodation tax would add $5 to a nightly booking rate of $500 – while the revenues from 2D will generate approximately $1.2M more in marketing dollars for Breckenridge.
Clearly, tourism and the guest experience are the lifeblood of our community. Virtually every one of our jobs and businesses are reliant in some way (if not entirely) on a healthy, sustained tourism environment. Ideally, they come, have a rewarding guest experience, and they decide to return again. At some point they fall in love with this place, like we all did, and may decide to buy property and come even more frequently, with family and friends. The decision to own a part of Breckenridge comes only after a number of satisfying return visits. Certainly it is not just important that the guests come here, but that they have a complete and rewarding experience while they are here, so they will come back here! Virtually every property owner and resident in Breckenridge, full or part-time, began as a visitor here at some point – perhaps even as a child! 2D ensures that the pipeline of potential and future customers for all of our business and jobs will continue to grow.
Marketing is not just about placing an ad in the Dallas papers and putting some Google sponsored sites on the Weather Channel website. It is also about the amenities, events, and resources that make up our visitors’ experience when they are here. 2D will help plug the gap caused by shrinking tax revenues, and will enable Breckenridge to remain competitive in the destination marketplace, while continuing to provide supplemental funding to all of our cherished cultural assets. Free events like concerts, International Snow Sculpture, festivals and parades play a major role in the atmosphere Breckenridge is renowned for. But they don’t happen for free! The vitality of these events and our cultural amenities like Breck Music Festival, NRO, Heritage Alliance, Arts District, Riverwalk Center, Rec Center are directly linked to the strength of our marketing efforts.
As Realtors and many property owners know too well, the sluggish real estate market has resulted in a sharp decrease in revenues to the town’s general fund, making for many painful budget allocation decisions.
2D will help to provide a dedicated, sustainable funding stream that will prevent our marketing efforts from being hobbled and compromised in the face of intensifying competition in our industry.
Understand – the purpose of 2D is not to get more people here at Christmas – it is to consolidate and enhance our visitation in the off-peak shoulder seasons and summer. More visitors evened out through the year means more revenue and more jobs. I urge you to visit http://www.yeson2D.comto better understand for yourself why Breckenridge needs to support 2D.
Please vote “yes” on 2D, because tourism drives Breckenridge!
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