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2013/10/17 MASON COUNTY LODGING TAX ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES October 17, 2013 Attendance: Duane Wilson, Kelly Bergh, Stephanie Rowland and Commissioner Terri Jeffreys were in attendance. Absent: Bonnie Knight The Chair called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m. Approval of Minutes Duane/Stephanie moved and seconded to approve the August 27, 2013 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried unanimously. Cmmr. Jeffreys reviewed the process. Twelve applications for LTAC funding were received. She asked that score sheets be completed and they will be retained for the record. The LTAC law has changed and the Commissioners cannot change the amounts recommended by the LTAC, however they could reject the proposal. The Commissioners cannot take action before 45 days after the close of applications. The State Auditor has requested that detailed awards be made. Mason Area Fair submitted a late application and it was rejected. There could be an opportunity for a second round of applications after the first of the year. The members agreed to first review the applications, approve those that qualify, and at the end of the day determine the amount to award, depending on budget. 2014 Application Review for General Tourism Promotion and Visitor Information Centers • Hood Canal Highland &Celtic Festival - Request for $6,000. Tom McDonald spoke to the application. He stated he spends up to $20,000 on attending highland festivals throughout Washington, Montana, Oregon and Idaho at which business cards, posters, flyers ad buttons are distributed. He believes his event brings in more out-of-county visitors than other events. The 2013 event was held at Belfair State Park. Stephanie stated she visited the Festival this year and it was well attended with people coming from all over the world. It is an international event and she was very impressed with the event. This is the 3rd year and it has grown. She is very supportive of the event. Stephanie/Duane moved and seconded to award funding for the Hood Canal Highland &Celtic Festival. Motion carried unanimously. • Washington Senior Games - request for $3,000. George Sharpe spoke to the application. They are applying for a softball tournament that will be held at the Mason County Recreational Area and is part of the Senior Games. In 2013 they hosted 40 teams, approximately 600 softball players, who are accompanied by many family and friends. The amount of teams could be expanded. They do have limited paid staff. Stephanie noted the senior age group is a growing population and the Senior Games are very popular. George offered to facilitate a meeting to help LTAC applicants fill out the application. Duane/Kelly moved and seconded to award funding for the Washington Senior Games. Motion carried. Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes October 17, 2013 • Traveler Days - Request for $4,000. The applicant was not present. It is a three-week event in the Union area that is business supported. Duane noted that the location is not confirmed. It was questioned if people come from out of the area for this event or are the people already here and they attend the events. Duane stated he supports the event, but questioned if it meets the criteria for LTAC. Cmmr. Jeffreys pointed out the request is for funding for the final event, an Art Show that is proposed to be held at Alderbrook. It was noted that the $4,000 request is for promotion of the entire event. Duane/Kelly moved and seconded to award funding to Traveler Days. Motion carried with a 2 to 1 vote. Stephanie would like information that is specific to the one event. She believes this application is too far reaching. • Pumpkin Fest - Request for $4,000. The applicant was not present. Cmmr. Jeffreys attended the catapult event last year which was not well attended but she noted it was bad weather. She understands their philosophy is that if there are a lot of activities to attend, people will visit from other areas. It is a unique event and does promote Hood Canal, which may bring repeat visitors. The members discussed what the actual number of participants is and how many overnight stays it generates. Duane/Stephanie moved and seconded to award funding to the Pumpkin Fest with funding levels to be determined later. Motion carried. • Taste of Hood Canal - Request for $2,500. The applicant was not present. Stephanie provided information on the event. It is a Sea Fair sanctioned one-day event and the attendance greatly increased in 2013. Cmmr. Jeffreys stated the legislative intent is that the LTAC awards generate additional lodging tax revenue. She supports having activities that generate tourism. This is a phenomenal event but it is in the middle of the summer and questioned if it generates hotel stays. Stephanie expressed support of the event. She believes having it Sea Fair sanctioned is good for future promotion and is great for Belfair. Stephanie/Duane moved and seconded to award funding to the Taste of Hood Canal. Motion carried. • Forest Festival - Request is for $6,000. The applicant was not present. There was discussion of whether the event brings hotel stays. It was noted that the car show and vendor participants may bring overnight stays Cmmr. Jeffreys expressed disappointment on the lack of detail on their media budget. Duane/Stephanie moved and seconded to award funding to the Forest Festival. Motion carried. The Board recessed for 5 minutes Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes October 17, 2013 • Allyn Days - Request is for $7,500. Ina Culberson was present to talk about the event. It combines Allyn Days and Geoduck Festival into one event over three days. Due to technical difficulties, she was not able to complete the new application and she was requested to complete the application for reporting purposes. The promotion budget was reviewed. Duane/Stephanie moved and seconded to award funding to Allyn Days. Motion carried. • Blue Grass from Forest - Request is for $5,000. Duane Wilson spoke to the event. He checks with the local motels to determine the number of overnight stays. People also stay in local campgrounds. It is a three-day event in May. A mailing list of 597 past attendees has been developed. They draw more people from outside of the area than from Mason County. They also apply to the City of Shelton LTAC. Kelly commented that she had overnight guests who attended two days of the event. Duane stated that although the event is growing it is not self sufficient and promotion is critical so the event continues. He stated the small festivals will need LTAC support and they are run by volunteers. Stephanie/Kelly moved and seconded to approve funding for the Blue Grass from Forest. Motion carried - two ayes; one abstain. • Olympic Broadcast - Request is for $45,000. Angie, KMAS representative, made the presentation for their application which is for a multi-media campaign of festivals on their radio station, KMAS News Radio, and their website. She talked about the data they track on their website. Cmmr. Jeffreys stated budget detail is required for audit purposes. Angie gave detail on how the media event budget was developed which includes on-line double banner on KMAS.com, radio commercials, Daybreak with Jeff& Dale interviews, Live reports on the morning show, re-cap of events, design and contests, prizes and giveaways. Kelly Bergh asked for clarification if this award would be above and beyond what the festivals may be paying individually to KMAS Angie stated it would be up the LTAC committee if they want to award KMAS advertising money to the events individually or if all the KMAS advertising would be under this award. Cmmr. Jeffreys asked if KMAS would meet with each event planner for the design and production support for their advertisement. Angie stated they would meet with the festival sponsors. They included 24 festivals in their proposal and would look to the LTAC on what to include. Cmmr. Jeffreys stated she would prefer to know the festivals support this advertising plan. Some festivals listed may not want the promotion. Cmmr. Jeffreys asked for a comparison of the KMAS Recreation web page to the Explore Hood Canal web page. Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes October 17, 2013 Angie stated their page compliments the Explore Hood Canal web page. She stated their website also includes news stories and more in-depth information of the area. Angie talked about how to measure results on the website. Stephanie sees this as a purchase of media with KMAS. She sees it as competing with the Explore Hood Canal website. She believes promotional news stories should be free. She thinks it would create a quagmire to remove the KMAS awards from the individual awards. Duane doesn't see this as how this proposal puts heads in beds. Cmmr. Jeffreys noted there is a general tourism element that needs to be considered. Angie stated it is a media buy to draw people from outside of the area to stay in Mason County. Cmmr. Jeffreys suggested this could be included in the joint tourism promotion. Stephanie/Duane moved and seconded to not fund the Olympic Broadcast application. Motion carried. The Board discussed that there needs to be a separate application for general tourism. • Joint Tourism — North Mason & Shelton Chambers. Request is for $181,950. Heidi McCutcheon presented information on the proposal. She stated the commercials have had a great impact on tourism. Promotion activities will include revising and publishing brochures and maps. Heidi noted that a Mason County streets map is frequently requested. The promotion will also include distribution of tourism materials, maintaining and enhancing the County tourism website explorehoodcanal.com, develop a relevant, user-friendly quarterly email to serve opt-in travel customers, invest in valuable regional tourism efforts and create and implement strategic mixed media advertising. There was discussion of the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission. Heidi provided details on the project budget. How to promote Mason County was discussed. Cmmr. Jeffreys discussed the amount requested. Due to budget constraints, she suggested the total amount awarded be reduced and request the Chamber to come back with a revised budget detail. Stephanie noted this is the total tourism promotion for Mason County and consistency is a key element. • Shelton-Mason County Visitor Information Center. Request is for $52,116 which is $35,303.46 for the Shelton Chamber and $16,812.54 for the Hoodsport VIC. • North Mason Chamber Visitor Information Center. Request is for $46,870. The North Mason Chamber of Commerce also serves as the VIC and Belfair Licensing. Cmmr. Jeffreys asked the question if VIC's put heads in beds or are they serving those that are already in the county. Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes October 17, 2013 Operation of the VIC's were discussed. They are substantially staffed by volunteers. Chamber paid staff is partially funded with LTAC dollars. Cmmr. Jeffreys brought up the concept of assigning a percentage of LTAC dollars to VIC's. Duane would like to see improvements made in the required measurements for LTAC dollars. He compared event applications to VIC requests. • Funding Recommendations: After discussion, the Committee agreed that out-of-county print media includes newspapers and magazines. Hood Canal Highland &Celtic Festival: Duane/Kelly moved and seconded to award $4,000 to Hood Canal Highland &Celtic Festival for out-of- county advertising that includes print and radio media, including newspaper, magazines, and ValPak. Motion carried. Washington Senior Games: Stephanie/Duane moved and seconded to withdraw the vote the award to Washington Senior Games due to lack of marketing plan documentation. Motion carried. Traveler Days: Stephanie/Duane moved and seconded to award $1,500 to Union Tourism Association for Traveler Days for out-of-county print advertising. Motion carried. Pumpkin Fest: Duane/Stephanie moved and seconded to award $1,500 to Union Tourism Association for promotion of Pumpkin Fest for out-of-county print advertising. Motion carried. Forest Festival: Stephanie/Duane moved and seconded to award $5,000 to the Mason County Forest Festival for out-of-county print and radio advertising. Motion carried. Taste of Hood Canal: Stephanie/Duane moved and seconded to award $2,500 to the Taste of Hood Canal for out-of-county print and radio advertising. Motion carried. Allyn Days: Stephanie/Kelly moved and seconded to award Allyn Days $5,000 for out-of-county print, radio and internet advertising. Motion carried. Blue Grass from Forest: Kelly/Stephanie moved and seconded to award $5,000 to Blue Grass from Forest for out-of-county print and radio advertising. Motion carried. One abstain. North Mason & Shelton Chambers Awards Kelly/Duane moved and seconded to award $157,090 for expenses as outlined and amended on page 10 of their proposal. Motion carried. One abstain - Stephanie. Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes October 17, 2013 Duane/Kelly moved and seconded to award $50,000 for a visitor information services contract to the Shelton Chamber of Commerce. Motion carried. Kelly/Duane moved and seconded to award a contract in the amount of$33,781 to the North Mason Chamber of Commerce to provide visitor information services. Motion carried. One abstain - Stephanie. Next Meeting Schedule next meeting date in January 2014. The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m. LODGING TAX ADVISORY COMMITTEE MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON ATTEST: Diane Zoren, LTAC Clerk Terri Jeffreys Chairperson