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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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December 24, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 24, 2014
 

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4A Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014 Feather River Bulletin Tourism cOuncil working to form new district funded by lodging provid Dan McDonald who have been following the Managing Editor tourism cou_ncfl's progress. dmcdonald@plumasnews.com The council said the new district would be caged a A local group says it has the tourism business ideas, support and money improvement district. needed to increase tourism in The way it works is lodging Plumas County. providers charge guests an The Tourism Recreation additional assessment, on top and Hospitality Council-- a of the county's 9 percent group of local businesses and transient occupancy tax. The lodging providers -- said it is local group is proposing a 3 laying the groundwork to percent TBID assessment. form a special tourism Unlike the TOT revenue, district in Plumas County. which goes to the county's The concept is to have general fund, the TB!D lodging providers collect a assessment revenue would be fee, separate from the used by the lodging providers county's current bed tax, to promote Plumas County which would be used strictly tourism. for marketing the county. Based on recent TOT With the help of an figures, the lodging providers experienced consultant, the could expect to raise about council said it hopes to have $350,000 annually by forming the new district in place by a TBID. June 1, 2015. TBIDs aren't a new concept. "That is what we are The model has been around shooting for, and I think that since 1989. Today there are is a realistic date," said 123 TBIDs in nine states. councilmember Valerie Northern California has Nellor, who owns Ada's Place more than a dozen TBIDs, in Quincy. including groups in Redding, Nellor was joined by about South Lake Tahoe, South a dozen county business Placer, Mendocino County, owners and lodging providers Napa Valley and Sacramento. during a Dec. 10 meeting in According to testimonials Quincy. from other areas that have The meeting was intended formed TBIDs, the increased to update and educate the marketing translates into community about the plan. major economic benefits. But it also included some Ultimately, the county frank observations and supervisors would need to advice from supervisors Lori approve the formation of a Simpson and Sherrie Thrall, TBID in Plumas County. 283-3300 557 Lawrence Street Quincy 7-2 Every Day "Serving Darn Good Comfort Food Since 1976" .1 Postal Selldce. USPS (No. 188-550.) Periodicals postage paid at Quincy, CA. I~lbUaltod: Every Wednesday morning by Feather Publishing Co., Inc. OffiCe Location and hours: 287 Lawrence St., Quincy, Mailing address: RO. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971. Office is open Mon. through Fri., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CA 95971. HOW tO Outact US: All departments: (530) 283-0800. FAX: (530) 283-3952. Emaih mail@plumasnews.com Website: plumasnews.com 0vmorldtlp end halrffqa: The Bulletin was established Aug. 11, 1866, as the Plumas National (later changed to Plumas National Bulletin May 16, 1892) subsequently changed to its present name May 7, 1931, which merged with the Plumas Independent (1892 - 1945) June 7, 1945. Published weekly. It is part of the Feather Publishing family of newspapers serving Plumes and Lassen counties. OoadUlllN: Display advertising: Thursday 4 p.m.; display classified: Thursday, 3 p.m.; legals: Thursday 4 p.m.; news: Fridays, 3 p.m.; classified: Monday 9 a.m. Breaking news: anytimel TO ~riha: Call (530) 283-0800, come to the Bulletin office, use the handy coupon below or send email to subscriptions@plumasnews.com .l~lJud~,M:i~: The Feather River Bulletin is adjudicated a legal newspaper by Superior Court Decree No. 4644 (1953) and qualified for publication of matters required by law to be published in a newspaper. Poetmeater. Send change of address orders to the Feather River Bulletin, RO. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971. Michael C. Taborsld Jenny Lee , Cohay Brown Co-0wner/Publisher Photo Editor vice Pres./ Karl Taborski Mary Newltou~ Operations Co-Owner/Legal Classified, Circ. Manager Tom Forney Advertising Sandy ~ Production Manager Kavin Mallory Human Resources Dir., Ellu Monroe Vice Pres./Admin.Office Manager Bookkeeper Dan McDonald Sharrl McConnell Eva Small Managing Editor Display Adv. Manager Composing Manager P Member, ~ Near Publishers Ass0c. recycled paper 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 om, r r-onn Feather River Bulletin * RO. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971 Please enter my subscription for__ years. ~j Enclosed find my check for $ [~ In County $26 per year [~ Out of State $44 per year In ~l~mla ~ per year, Name | stm, ZZp 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 J "We see it as investing in the whole county. We want to see the county succeed." Janice Robinson, Gold Pan Lodge manager The process Forming a TBID requires a number of detailed steps. To help navigate through the process, the local tourism council retained the services of Sacramento-based Civitas. Civitas is a consulting company that specializes in forming TBIDs. Civitas is charging the local group $43,000 for its services. The tourism council said it has raised $26,000 from business owners and lodging providers and said it has enough pledges to cover the entire fee. The process begins with the formation of a steering committee and ends in the Board of Supervisors' chambers. After listening to any protests, the supervisors would vote on whether to adopt a resolution to form a TBID. In between the steering committee formation and the supervisors' vote are a series of steps. Civitas condensed the list to seven steps. One of the key steps is educating lodging providers and garnering their support. At least 51 percent of the county's lodging providers would need to sign a petition in support of forming a TBID. However, not all lodging providers' signatures would carry the same weight. The vote of a business with $1 million in annual revenue would have 10 times more impact than a $100,000 business. Nellor said the tourism group already has pledges of support from more than the required 51 percent. Once a TBID is formed, all of the county's lodging providers would be obligated to collect the 3 percent assessment. The TBID would expire after five years, at which time it could be renewed. It could also end before the five-year sunset if the majority so chooses. The TBID would be a nonprofit corporation. Lodging providers would elect a board of directors that would adhere to a governance structure and a management plan, as do all special districts. Right now the local tourism group said it is beginning the outreach phase. Members said they want lodging providers to know the benefits of a TBID will greatly outweigh the extra 3 percent fee they will charge customers. The need Supporters of the TBID say the added marketing dollars will help the county compete with neighboring counties for visitors. According to Civitas, Plumas County is losing 1 to 2 percent of its visitor base to surrounding counties. "When people are thinking about where they are going to go on vacation, Plumas County doesn't even show up on the radar .... Tahoe shows up. Shasta shows up," said Sharon Roberts, owner of St. Bernard Lodge near Chester. "This corner of northeast California is the most unvisited. I mean people don't even get off of I5." The debate Lodging providers opposed to a TBID say visitors will view the additional 3 percent many small districts' boards ' assessment as another tax. in the county are having Coupled with the TOT, guests problems. would pay $112 for a $100 "They don't understand room. Opponents also argue it that they are required to have would make it harder for ethics training. They don't them to raise prices in the understand finance. They future, don't understand how to look Janice Robinson, manager at their books. They don't of the Gold Pan Lodge in understand the Brown Act," Quincy, countered that Thrall said. "I mean it's businesses need to see the unbelievable. bigger picture. "So I'm really negative to "We see it as investing in creating anything where I the whole county. We want to don't feel that the group that's see the county succeed," running the district has that Robinson said. "We are ability. Those are the concerns absolutely positive toward a you are going to have to meet TBID. And that is despite the when you come to us. fact that we have definitely "Yes, the board does have to improved our business over approve this (TBID)," Thrall the past two years. But we added. "And believe me, we still know that we need to will be getting flak ... because advertise as a county." I'm already getting it." The reality Despite a history of conflict among the county's different chambers of commerce, Supervisors Simpson and Thrall both said they support the tourism council's consolidated efforts to promote the county. But they emphasized that forming a new special district is a painstaking process subject to strict regulation. "I guess we are just saying, you guys better know what you are getting into," Simpson said. Thrall outlined specific concerns she said the tourism council needs to consider before seeking approval from the Board of Supervisors. "A special district is governed by some really Strict laws," Thrall said. "You have accounting, you have Brown Act .... As you are educating (lodging providers), they need to understand that this is not like a chamber group or a nonprofit group. This is going to be a legal entity." Thrall also cautioned that the group is trying to form a special district at a time when The understanding The tourism council members thanked the supervisors for their frank input, and said they are well aware of the challenges they face. "We know we have a lot of work to do," Nellor said. "I think that we are one of the only groups (attempting to form a TBID) that aren't actually funded by some pool of money to actually set this up. That makes it harder because we don't already have that base organization. We are just going to do the best that we can." Nellor told the supervisors "it would be nice to have buy-in by the county. This will benefit the county coffers as well. I'm kind of looking for support because it's a good thing to do for our community." "You know I agree," Thrall answered. "I wish you success. My only concern is that the groundwork be laid very carefully before you go into it so you have that success." The council said it wants to outline its plans in a presentation to the Board of Supervisors in January. Dinner Specials Roasted Prime Rib au Jus t Grilled Filet of Salmon with oven-roasted tomatoes Basil White Wine Sauce Grilled Mahi Mahi ) with wildmushroom risotto . 'V" Roasted Leg of Lamb Persillade "T " Regular Menu Also Available \ Reservations Suggested ) 836-1300 Open New Year's Day for Dinner Starting at 5 pm xj]zztv 250 Bonta St., Blairsden Delicate operation Working with Plumas County Hazardous Materials Management, Ferrel Gas employee Rod Powell stops the flow from an upside-down 1,000-gallon propane tank Friday, Dec. 12, near Bucks Lake Lodge. The tank was toppled by a tree that fell .during a snowstorm. The fallen tree also dropped several Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines. Leaking propane prompted the~ evacuation of people in and around the lodge, but no injuriesl were reported. Responders included fire personnel from Bucks' Lake, Meadow Valley and Quincy. 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