By Nicole Barde

This month’s meeting was pretty cut and dry. You can find the Agenda HERE.  First up were the Financials. Since July is the first month of the new budget year you can’t tell much at this point but Revenues came in at $ 132.2 k and Expenses came in at $71.2 so that’s a good start for now. VCTC Executive Director Deny Dotson told us to ignore the balance sheet since its wrong. The amount for the disbursements is incorrect.  He said he’d publish the right one after the meeting.

The Transient Lodging Tax is behind last year’s July numbers in all three categories of Tax dollars, rooms rented and occupancy rate. Let’s hope that those hotels Storey County Commissioner and VCTC Board member Lance Gilman talked about get built soon. The Tourism Tax however looks to be trending higher over the last three years.  The May 2016 deposits are at $25.2k as compared to the May 2015 deposits at $22.7k and May 2014 deposits of $ 19.5k. More tax equals more spending by the people coming into town. That’s good.

The Marketing update was as always. You can find it HERE. Deny showed the latest video called ‘Below the Surface” Bloodlines. Nice piece.

Deny gave the event update since Liquid Blue couldn’t attend the meeting. The Fire Department’s investigation of the fireworks fire is still not done. Deny said that he anticipates that we will get a refund for the fireworks and those funds will go against next year’s fireworks. He reported that Hot August Nights was a home run. He said that although not all businesses benefitted that it was good visibility for the town. I think this is code for “it wasn’t as big as we hoped or touted but it wasn’t a total failure”. There are never any failures, ever….and if there are well….it’s not anyone’s fault….

 Deny said that we will be having events basically for the next 10 weeks with; Johnny Cash, the Ferrari Club, the 100 mile horse trek, Steampunk ball,  Street Vibrations,  Statehood Ball ( was Governor’s ball) ,Thomas the Train, Outhouse and Camel races…….lots happening very soon. The rodeo is on track with ticket sales starting to move. From Deny’s last updates we have the best promoters doing the promotion. Based on that it should be a raging success.

Next up was the approval of the Lease Amendment for the fairgrounds. I had forgotten that the original lease signed in 2015 was to lease the fairgrounds for $8500for only two events; the Grand Prix and the Camel Races. It escaped me at the time that all the capital investment for seating etc., etc. that Deny spent on the fairgrounds was for two events on a one year lease.  My bad.

So now we have a lease amendment which changes the terms of the lease to be:

             Lessee agrees to pay to the Lessor and Lessor agrees to accept as rental for the leased premises the sum of $.60 per attendee to all paid events such as Bullnanza, The International Camel Races and Way It Was Rodeo. The Lessee will negotiate a flat fee for all nonprofit or non-ticketed events to serve as additional rent. The annual total rent paid will not be less than $8500 per calendar year. Rent is payable within 30 days of the conclusion of each event held on the property.

So now we have to pay a portion of the gate to the tune of 0.60 cents for every attendee for all events held at the fairgrounds. I haven’t done the math but………..last time I looked VCTC doesn’t make that much on all of the events brought into town to begin with.  Then, some of these events are Liquid Blue events where they get 85% of the profit for putting them on. How can VCTC pay .060 cents per attendee on top of giving LB 85%?   This year’s budget for the Camel Races shows an expected “profit” of about $21,600. Liquid Blue gets 85% of that at $18,300 which leaves VCTC about $3300 in revenue. So if we have about 2000 paying attendees we also have to pay $1200 in fees to the landlord. So….what happens with an event that has attendees but we don’t breakeven on the expenses? We’re in hole deeper?

Like I said, I haven’t done the math….I hope Deny has. Sweet deal for the landlord though.

There was a bit of discussion by the board about the use of the orange parking cones by merchants to reserve the parking spaces in front on their stores for their own parking. This has been an ongoing problem since we want to make the town accessible for the visitors and the merchants hogging all the prime parking doesn’t do that. The cone police will be coming around to talk to the merchants about this soon.

Deny reported that Storey County is submitting a BDR ( Bill Draft Request) to dissolve the V & T Rail commission as it is and reconstitute it with new membership and fewer members. That one of the options is to ask the Tourism Executive Directors from VC and Carson City to the Board.

Lastly, VCTC Board Chair Scott Jolcover announced that the Cabin in the sky sign was for sale and that they are deciding the best way to sell it. The proceeds will go to the Comstock Foundation.

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