Newberg committee recommends $250K in start-up funds for tourism marketing
The Newberg City Council will allocate $250,000 in startup funds for the long-planned marketing program Visit Newberg.
The council had planned to take up a proposal to provide funding to the program in December, before postponing it to Jan. 22, and then again until May. The council advised the Transient Lodging Tax Ad Hoc Committee to return to the council's Tuesday meeting with a plan to form the organization and hire an executive director.
The idea for Visit Newberg goes back to the fall of 2016, when the council held a series of meetings about tourism and using the Transient Lodging Tax revenues it has received since the program's inception in 1976. The city established an ad hoc committee that winter. The committee has held several meetings since their meeting in January 2017, as well as developed a small grant program and destination development marketing program where they recommended 12 grants to the council for a total of $340,000.
The TLT Ad Hoc Marketing Subcommittee met on Jan. 28 and discussed a proposal. Days later Visit Newberg held an organizational meeting, elected its board of directors and elected executive officers. Additionally, articles of incorporation for Visit Newberg have been filed with the state.
Now that Visit Newberg has been formed, the TLT Ad Hoc Committee terminated its activities.
The subcommittee recommended allocating $150,000 to Visit Newberg to form the organization, hire an executive director and prepare a business plan and budget.
The council and Visit Newberg held a work session earlier this month to discuss the transient lodging tax program. Visit Newberg suggested adjusting startup costs and allocating more funds to the executive director to cover an entire year instead of the four months discussed by the subcommittee. This was done under the idea a longer position could attract more qualified candidates. Councilors agreed to make adjustments.
According to the breakdown of Visit Newberg startup costs, recruitment services would cost $10,000, the executive director's salary would be $75,000 while his or her benefits would total $20,000. The original proposal only had the executive director's salary at $25,000 for the four-month period, with more than $6,666 in benefits.
All told, general administration funds – which include office space and equipment, legal fees, contingency funds and other items – would total $187,335.
There would be $50,000 allocated to marketing expenses, bringing the total to $247,335. The breakdown then rounds that total up to $250,000.
The revenue and expenses for a tourism marketing organization would come from the Transient Lodging Tax Fund. Council documents state that for the end of fiscal year 2018-2019, there is approximately $499,000 that could be used for startup funding for Visit Newberg.