Nicole Barde

You can find the Agenda HERE.

During the Public Comment section at the beginning of the meeting ( in contrast to the County Commissioners who put people LAST) Jeff Wood from the Comstock History Center noted that the trash situation in the town, and in particular in his area is getting bad. He noted that it took him over an hour to clean up around the Center and the Silverland reported it took over two hours around that property after the 4th of July event. This is despite the added trash containers.

VCTC Director Deny Dotson noted that the promoter is responsible for the trash “process” during the big events, that since we also have “community” events like the 4th the VCTC has purchased extra bins from Waste Management and that there is also another company which provides bins with liners. He said that VCTC has used many options to clean up the town after events including the high school as well as trustees from the jail.

Deny also said that Waste Management hasn’t been picking up daily as the contract stipulates and they will have a discussion with them about that. It was mentioned that the trash situation on C street may be alleviated a bit if merchants made their own trash receptacles available for the public to use. Board Member Angelo Petrini said that that wasn’t a viable option since the merchants themselves need those trash bins. He said that the VCTC should be paying to fix that problem

The final word on this topic is that the town’s visitors need to be conscious about where they put their trash.

I provided input from Judy Cohen, owner of the Silver Stope, who couldn’t be at the meeting. She noted that there was so much smoke from the open flame wood BBQ that the Union Brewery was doing that people on the street were trying to duck into stores just to try and get away from it. That her store began to fill with smoke. She asked the VCTC if there was anything that could be done to mitigate this in the future. Deny replied that having an open flame on C street was an ordinance violation and that the fire department should be called next time.

During the Financial Update Deny noted that the Tourism Tax revenues for the 2018-18 budget year as of May were ahead of budget projections by about $97k. The majority of this is coming from TRIC.

The Transient Lodging Tax showed the same type of increase with annual revenues being about $30k over the projected budget as of May and about $173k over last year at the same time. Board Chair Corrado DeGasparis noted that this is a significant jump over last year and that the bump is likely due to the huge construction activity at TRIC

Deny went thru the 2018-2019 unaudited Budget results. Deny noted that they ran out of gin inventory and had to build that out which wasn’t in the budget. Bottom line there is a glitch in the system which produced the report and the totals don’t look right. Having said that, it looks like revenues came in on target and that expenses came in under by a bit. We’ll have to wait for the next report to know the final numbers.

Liquid Blue gave an update on the Chili Cook Off’s final numbers and net-net there was a $9k surplus of Revenues over Expenses.

The July 4th activities were a success and the town was packed. It looked to be the biggest 4th of July event in a long time. The biggest issue was funding for the fireworks. About $3k was given thru individual donations, the VCTC also kicked in and Board member and County Commissioner Lance Gilman gave a hefty contribution of $10k to the fireworks. It was noted that the Silent Riders usually hand out special badges to the kids during the parade and that they handed out over 750 badges and ran out midway thru the parade. Since the 4th was on Thursday there was a carry-over effect into the weekend which looked good for the merchants.

The upcoming Hot August Nights event was discussed and there will be over 400 cars. There will be lots of vendors and Deny noted that the merchants can have booths in front of their stores…just contact him.

There was a discussion about the Rodeo & Fiesta Del Charro event in August. There will be Mariachis, docents, a chuck wagon and the cattle drive will be more robust this year.

The budget for the Camel Raced was approved for $139k with a plan for about a $54k surplus in revenues. Liquid Blue has done some tweaking of the event and added more merchandise, a $10 general admission happy hour, a camel walk thru town on Saturday between shows and there will be a special ticket price for locals for the Friday night show. Locals get in for $10 and you can and SHOULD get the tickets at the Visitors Center. The regular ticket price is $12 online and it has fees. So this is a great savings for locals. BUT it is for Friday night only!

Next up was the approval of a contract for professional services to do the creative and website maintenance for VCTC marketing efforts. The VCTC has been working with this group for many years and has been paying them on a per-project/job basis. By putting them under contract and a flat fee it looks to be able to save about $2-3k per year. The Marketing Calendar HERE shows all of the marketing activities and what Antos does for VCTC.

During the Marketing Update HERE RAD Strategies played the radio spot that they are planning to play on Pandora in the Sacramento Market as well as other places later on. Needless to say that the spot is VERY different. It is “old-timey” and sort of screeches at you but it accomplishes the mission of embedding Virginia City into your subconscious after you hear it a few times.

Katie Demuth gave the Groups update noting that the number of groups surpassed last year and that there is a new tour group coming to VC. She restated that when SHE knows a group is coming that she will let the merchants know on the Merchant Facebook page. She doesn’t always get notified. Deny read a letter which was submitted by the leader of a group which Katie had helped. It was very complimentary of her work on their behalf. GREAT JOB!

Lastly, the status of the Crystal Bar, the current location of the Visitors Center. It was approved to be sold by the County Commission meeting which gives the VCTC the option to sell it outright and lease it back for a period of time while the new Visitors Center gets built on the Black and Howell site OR continue to occupy the building while the new Visitors Center gets built and sell it later.

The VCTC can apply for a USDA construction loan and/or a loan from the County to build the new center. More on this later as more gets decided.

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