CHRISTMAS ON THE COMSTOCK PLANNING IS UNDERWAY….MERCHANTS, PLEASE LET KATIE KNOW YOUR PLANS!
DON’T FORGET LOCALS NIGHT WITH DISCOUNTED TICKETS FOR THE CAMEL RACES
C STREET ACQUISITION BY THE COUNTY FROM THE STATE IS PROGRESSING
You can find the Agenda packet HERE.
This was a pretty short meeting.
During Public Comment Jim Webster from the Silverland noted that the wedding industry is big here in VC. That there are wedding shows in October and February in California and asked if the VCTC had ever had a presence there. Katie Demuth, VCTC Marketing Manager, said that the merchants have done it before, specifically the Gold Hill Hotel and the Delta. She said that the merchants could go in on a large booth and represent the VC venues and that the VCTC would help to support that.
Whitney Brunson, Pipers Opera House Manager, said that they were planning to have a wedding fair at some time in the future.
I asked what the status of the County’s taking over C street from the state was. Deny Dotson, VCTC Executive Director, said that things were moving forward. He restated what the current issues are …that as a state highway C street can’t violate the states codes and regulations. VCTC has to get permission and variances from the state to close the street, re-route traffic, have booths and hang banners for events. It makes sense for the County to take it over so that the events can go more smoothly.
There have been ongoing discussions relating to the state bringing C street up to acceptable standards as far as the curbs, gutters and boardwalk are concerned. When that happens the County will take over maintaining C street. The state and the County will share snow plowing of C street.
Board member Angelo Petrini said that we have to keep the street open and not turn it into Carson City where they have all but eliminated the street parking which is a detriment to the merchants on that street.
The Financial update had some good news in it. The Tourism Tax is a “wow”…so said Board Chair Corrado De Gasparis. It looks like the new TRIC zip code has kicked in with the revenues being more than twice what they were at this time last year and the year before. The six-month trend for this tax has been up consistently.
The Transient Lodging tax is flat to last year at this time. The revenue source is currently a 50-50 split between VC and TRIC with VC having the most rooms. TRIC has several hotel properties in the pipeline and once they hit these numbers should go up. Additionally, while VC suffers from seasonality factors in the winter which drive the revenue numbers down TRIC should continue to be able to book their properties year-round.
You can see the Marketing update from RAD strategies HERE.
The Special Event update noted that the Fourth of July budget had a deficit again this year falling short almost $6k despite revenues being higher and expenses being lower than last year. They will continue to try and find new ways to generate revenues. This event is really a traditional town and community event and will likely need to be “subsidized” for a long time.
Deny reported that Hot August Nights was a success all around. There were 400 cars registered for the event that came and went thru-out the week-end. There were about 245 cars on Friday and about 310 for the weekend. The volunteers were excellent, there seemed to be ample parking, and the shuttle was working well. The only major issue seems to have been that the cars arrived early in the mornings and the majority of merchants were not open. Some of the restaurants were open and doing a brisk business but this needs to be worked out for next year. Deny commits to doing a better job of communicating to the merchants as to what to expect and times to be open.
Civil War/Labor Day plans are finalized. Set up on Thursday, educational events on Friday, rock drilling on Saturday, the Ball at Piper’s on Sunday and the parade on Monday at noon.
The VC Rodeo Fiesta del Charro is ready, set and GO! There were about 81k people reached with the recent advertising done including into the Hispanic communities.
Camel Races ticket sales are up over last year, and last year was a great year for this event. Friday is locals night and the tickets are discounted for locals…you need to buy them at the Visitors Center. Saturday looks to be sold out and Sunday will be close. The V & T Railway will have a Camel Train on Saturday arriving at 10am.
Christmas on the Comstock is beginning to take shape. The sub-committee has been formulating ideas around an “art town” format. The many venues will be doing their own specific events and themes and the VCTC will market the entire event under their umbrella. So far it’s the Cemetery, Pipers, St. Mary’s Art Center, and Fourth Ward which are planning to have their special seasonal events. More may join as the year goes on.
The working title is “Believe Again”! There will be Saint Nick and the Grinch with several events and activities which will lock up and/or release the Grinch from jail. The merchants are encouraged to put on their best Christmas cheer and hopefully dress in period costume. Katie Demuth posted a request on the Merchant page to ask for merchant participation.
Katie Demuth gave a brief report on the Visitors Center noting that they have had engagement training and are focusing on sales…sales are going up a bit
Great Pipers update as usual. There are two video screenings coming up which are of particular interest to us locals….Squeek Steele will screen her musical video and the Comstock Foundation will screen a great video called “Shadow of the Gold” about the Comstock.
During the Directors Report Deny noted that the sale of the Crystal Bar (Visitors Center) was approved by the County Commissioners and that the question is whether to sell and leaseback or keep it and get loans from the County or USDA in order to start building the new Visitor Center on the site of the old Black and Howell building. He also reported that the town’s Wi-Fi capacity gets maxed out during big events and that they are looking at options to expand bandwidth. The Living Legends will be at the Reno Tahoe airport in August.
Lastly, he said that the first “Coffee with the County” meeting with himself and County manager Austin Osborn was successful and that there were a lot of topics covered