If you were likely to receive a 1,350 percent return investing someone else’s money, would you make the investment?
Of course you would. That’s why voting yes to the proposed Longmont lodging tax makes sense. If passed, Ballot Issue 2B would impose a 2-cents-on-the-dollar tax on Longmont hotel bills. The money raised — expected to be $320,000 in the first year — would be spent by the Longmont Area Visitors Association promoting Longmont to the people and groups who bring tourism dollars into the city.
LAVA executive director Beth Witzak says that since 2004, every $1 spent on promoting Longmont has brought back $13.52 in tourist spending. LAVA arrived at this figure by dividing its spending in that time, $129,345, to the estimated group spending in Longmont, $1,748,250. And lately, Longmont has attracted big groups and big events, including the Red Hat Society, Star Days and the Miss Colorado competition.
But there is room for more. Annually, hotel vacancy rates in Longmont hover about 45 percent, with summer occupancy about 80 percent and winter occupancy about 20 percent, Witzak said. Targeting an ad campaign to those who likely will seek Colorado as a destination should improve Longmont’s position as a destination along the Front Range year-round, thereby bringing more money into the local economy.
Longmont has everything to gain with Ballot Issue 2B. Vote yes.