Carson City Visitors Bureau Board eyes sports tourism

Sports tourism last fiscal year cost more than $87,000 to host in Carson City, a figure higher than anticipated but that helps drive 10 percent of room tax revenue.

That was the message conveyed to the city’s Visitors Bureau board by Meagan Soracco of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Joel Dunn, director of the Visitors Bureau, but it didn’t allay concerns of some board members that it exceeded the $70,600 allocated by the board for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-15. Soracco told members it was just slightly more than the $85,000 it cost to host tournaments the previous year.

Member Stan Jones expressed the most vocal concern, which was backed up by Chairman Jonathan Boulware as he asked for better budgeting information in the future. Soracco agreed to that and said two tournaments that have bowed out should save some of the costs in city staff, benefits, services and supplies going forward. Karen Abowd, another board member, figured that would save approximately $15,000 in expenses in FY 2015-16.

Dunn, who ran the sports tourism program for the city prior to joining the bureau, voiced his belief the investment is worthwhile and said he would meet soon with City Manager Nick Marano about the shortfall situation.

“It makes up 10 percent of our overall market,” he said, noting he meant 10 percent of room tax revenues that come into the bureau’s coffers.

Dunn and Kyle Horvath, who handles social media marketing for the bureau, also made a short presentation on the newly-formed bureau Business Alliance Network. It is to help local firms and business organizations market to visitors. In a separate news release announced the network, Dunn said:

“The Business Alliance Network — through training, advertising and other tools — will put local business in front of the visitor as well as the local customer. Together, we will ensure the community’s economic vitality.”

In the board meeting, Dunn reported July’s trailing 12 month lodging revenues were up 9.87 percent to $15.4 million and year-to-date revenues through the same month amounted to more than $9 million, almost a 10 percent boost.


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