Carson City Visitors Bureau board gives Joel Dunn 10 percent raise

Carson City room revenue rose almost 7 percent in fiscal year 2016, surprising growth for a year when the Nevada Legislature did not meet.

For that and other surpassed goals, the Carson City Visitors Bureau Board of Directors gave Joel Dunn, executive director of the bureau, a 10 percent raise after his annual performance evaluation.

“Job well done. I commend you and your leadership with your staff,” said Supervisor Karen Abowd, a director, at the board’s Monday meeting. “Outstanding.”

Chairman Jonathan Boulware proposed the 10 percent raise and that it be retroactive to January when Dunn started work on filling the new arts and cultural coordinator position.

The position is being funded by a 1 percent hike in the transient occupancy tax, which meant Dunn had to reach out to lodging properties to get their support in addition to recruiting candidates.

“When we sat through the panel interviews, my eyes opened up to the benefit to the community, the opportunity for tourism,” said Boulware referring to taking part in the panel that interviewed candidates for the position of coordinator. “I’ve never seen a more comprehensive effort to talk to the lodging properties. And not just the big ones but the small ones, too.”

Dunn said he hoped to announce the new arts and culture coordinator by mid-week.

Last week three candidates came to Carson City for final interviews and two of them gave presentations at a public meeting held at the Brewery Arts Center.

In fiscal year 2016, room revenue in Carson City rose 6.6 percent to $16.4 million from $15.3 million in 2015.

In June, room tax revenue from the top 13 lodging properties went up 11.8 percent to $1.7 million from $1.5 million a year earlier.

Average daily rates at those properties jumped 17.6 percent in June, to $85.16, from $72.40 in 2015.

Dunn said he would have final year-end budget numbers at the board’s next meeting, Sept. 12.

Kyle Horvath, marketing director, gave an update on the bureau’s Ride Carson City campaign, which has elicited 175 posts on Instagram and attracted 100 new followers.

He said Epic Rides, the recent mountain biking race here, produced 57 unique articles worth an advertising equivalent of $56,000, which the bureau is using Meltwater media software to measure.

Horvath also showed three videos on Epic Rides geared to different audiences, such as event planners, and another on the Carson City art scene, all produced by the bureau.


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