By Debra Moore
Frustrated with a lack of tourism marketing for Plumas County, a group formed to take matters into its own hands six years ago and the Feather River Tourism Association was born.
The group’s work is about to culminate in the formation of the Feather River Tourism Marketing District, in which local lodging providers will add a 2 percent assessment to their room charges to be spent on marketing.
It’s been a long road and not all lodging providers support the effort. In fact the county has been divided — with Chester, Indian Valley, the Canyon, Bucks Lake, Quincy and Meadow Valley participating — and everything east of Lee Summit opting out, including the popular tourist destination area of Graeagle.
But there are also lodging providers within the proposed marketing district that oppose it and showed up at the Board of Supervisors’ Oct. 6 meeting to object in person. They do not want to add another 2 percent to the already existing 9 percent transient occupancy tax (TOT) that is added to their customers’ room rates. A portion of the TOT had historically been used for tourism marketing, but in recent years has gone solely to the general fund.
In order to stop the effort, 50 percent of those within the district would have needed to formally protest and that didn’t happen — less than 14 percent wrote in opposition. So now it is in the Board of Supervisors’ hands and the supervisors will be asked to approve a resolution forming the district and implementing the assessment during their Oct. 13 meeting. If adopted, it will be established for a five-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2025.
According to the resolution: “The assessments levied for FRTMD shall be applied toward sales and marketing programs to market Feather River lodging businesses as tourist, meeting and event destinations, and other improvements and activities as set forth in the plan.”
It’s estimated that the assessment will generate nearly $192,000 for the district.
Following a presentation by Lake Almanor resident Susan Bryner and Quincy resident Karen Kleven, on behalf of the steering committee for the tourism association, supervisors weighed in on the topic.
Board Chairman Kevin Goss said he has attended sessions on forming tourism districts such as these and has been impressed by them.
Supervisor Jeff Engel did a little math and said that the 2 percent assessment would add $1.38 to a $69 hotel room bill.
The board voted unanimously to consider the formal resolution at its next meeting, Oct. 13.