By Nicole Barde

This month’s meeting was held at the Gold Hill Depot. It has been restored and $100k has been spent to make it ADA compliant so that it can be used as a venue. The restoration includes 2 bathrooms, a prep kitchen, a deck and it has capacity for about 298 people. The parking will hold about 70-80 cars. They may need to purchase Joe Curtis’s land for additional parking.

This month’s agenda can be found HERE.

The financial update showed that while the Tourism Tax is under budget by about $7k it is smoothing out and looks like it may come in on budget for the June numbers. The Transient Lodging Tax is ahead of budget by about $5k. During the discussion Lance mentioned that there is the possibility of 3 hotels going in at TRI and that they would add substantially to the Room Tax revenues. He stated that Marriot is “for sure” planning a 250 room hotel at the Park and that there is a lot of money, about half a billion dollars, investing in hotels and restaurants coming to Northern Nevada. I hope that the fruits of this investment money makes its way into Storey County!

The Budget review shows that YTD June revenues ($ 1.115 million) came in about $34,368 under budget. Despite Grants, merchandise and Cemetery Gin revenues coming in over the projected revenues, the events, tourism tax and gaming revenues were significantly below budget.

 The YTD June expenses ($1.198 million) basically came in only $2,051 over the 2016 budgeted amount. The new 2017 budget year starts July 1st.

The VCTC “general fund” account sits at $ 379,249 after all receivables are taken into account. The 2017 budget is already at a deficit, and if the revenues in THAT budget fall short as they did this year it will continue to eat into this cushion. Hopefully the VCTC doesn’t buy any more real-estate.

The traditional mainstay sources of revenues Tourism tax, Gaming and Lodging tax seem to be in decline and if that trend continues something has to change. The “assessment” on merchants to support VCTC activities talked about by Comptroller Hugh Gallagher is one option that will get serious consideration.

The Marketing Update was as always. Interesting to note however was that the three videos produced  are getting exceptional “interaction” at 48% and about 90,000 views per video. Pasquale is making about 20 hats per week as a direct result of the video that highlighted him. He has a unique product and he makes a great quality hat.  So……the ROI looks to be paying off at least for him! It’s this kind of direct impact, on a larger scale, that we need to see in order to justify the spending done by VCTC. One small step…………..

The Special Event updates show a slowdown in activity and revenue from Flashback Fridays and it needs to be revamped. The Taste of the Comstock was combined with Muckfest and there were 350 tickets sold for the restaurant tastings as compared to about 500 in years past. The whisky tent was a success but there were complaints about the restaurant portion sizes getting smaller. Liquid Blue said that they need to work with the restaurants to improve the service sizes while not increasing the cost to the restaurant. The restaurants need to see the event as a marketing tool to help them generate business….LB says that they will work with them to find a formula that works for them.

The Chili Cook off looks to have been a moderate financial success. Revenues came in higher than projected by about $3172 and expenses came in about $11,300 under the projected amount. This puts the event net profit at about $15k compared to the projected $1300. Not bad. Now, if we can only grow it and keep doing that going forward!

The Way it Was Rodeo was discussed and the budget approved. This is a new event for VC. The budget was based in large part on the Camel Races budget with a few tweaks. The Flying U Rodeo, the vendor who is putting the main event, is the largest, the most well known and the best rodeo promoter in the country. Executive Director Deny Dotson says that they know how to do this and do it right and he feels confident that this will get the promotion that it needs to be a success. LB will be walking C Street to talk to the merchants about their participation at the venue site for the event.

There was discussion about the 4th of July fireworks that weren’t and the fire that was.  Deny said that the results of the investigation aren’t yet completed. He also said that he didn’t know if they were going to keep the fireworks until next year of get a refund.

During public comment VC resident John Thistle said that the fire was near to his home and that the fireworks that started that fire should never have been set off given the conditions. He said that having fireworks during fire season is a safety issue given the many past fires started by these same fireworks. HE suggested that we not have the fireworks for 4th of July and that maybe we have New Year’s Eve fireworks when there is snow on the ground.

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