Carson City Visitors Bureau gives executive director a raise

A $10,000 pay raise and a $2,000 drop in car allowance were allocated Monday in a compensation package for Joel Dunn, executive director of Carson City’s Visitors Bureau.

The bureau’s Board of Directors voted 4-0 to boost his annual salary from $83,000 to $93,000 retroactive to May this year, but cut his car allowance from $3,000 to $1,000. Dunn began as director in May, 2013, but his performance review and pay package change didn’t come until Monday’s meeting. Comments during his performance review lauded him and his staff for progress.

“What has transpired this year, to me, is almost amazing,” said Stan Jones, a board member and businessman. He particularly praised the staff assembled, credibility enhanced and social media advances made during Dunn’s tenure.

Supervisor Karen Abowd, also a board member, cited financial transparency, marketing advances, increased tourist traffic and “heads in beds” at local lodging properties as she joined in the praise. She later made the motion for the pay increase.

Jaswinder Dhami, another board member and a representative of the lodging industry, joined the praise parade but also said there is more to be done so people come to Carson City during the colder months.

“We need to keep working on this to find events,” said Dhami, a sentiment with which Dunn agreed.

The bureau is funded primarily by lodging tax revenues.

The director said the first 15 months have gone well, “but really, now the work begins.”

That in part was a reference to the bureau’s move from quarters it shared with the city’s Chamber of Commerce in a building next to the Nevada Railroad Museum to downtown Carson City, a move effective a week hence. The bureau is moving into space, officially at 3 p.m. next Monday, at 716 N. Carson St.

The bureau’s board also heard reports from Dunn on lodging properties and from Kyle Horvath on social media.

Dunn said through July revenue for all properties topped $8.2 million, a 3 percent boost from last year and nearly an 11.9 percent boost from 2012. Last year included business from a legislative session. Horvath, meanwhile, reported social media was going well on eight platforms with interest heavy among women on Facebook and among men on Twitter. He said those leaders are attracting about 10,000 each monthly.


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