Word on the street for some time has heard the stirrings of the City of Wilmington wanting to take some of the money currently allocated to the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau that comes from a lodging tax collected from transient guests staying at our hotels. The intended use of those funds is to give them to the City Parks. Those stirrings are alive and well.
There will be a meeting of the City’s Judiciary Committee today, Wednesday, April 6 at 6 p.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room, in which a discussion regarding the Hotel Lodging Tax will take place. I ask for the support of the entire city by asking you to attend this public meeting if you believe we have done a good job in the past and feel secure in the knowledge that we will continue to sell this great city as a travel destination in the future utilizing all the current funds we are receiving. It’s time to speak up on behalf of a positive operating organization with an 18-year history.
The Convention & Visitors Bureau has been a good steward of the lodging tax collected designated to market Wilmington as a travel destination — doubling the amount spent by tourists on an annual basis from $41 million in 2000 to 2013 totals of $83 million — with tourism jobs in the county representing 6 percent of all salaried jobs, or 1,069.
In fact, from $74.3 million in 2009, when county tourism spending suffered an 11.9 percent decline, to $83 million in 2013, spending has now surpassed spending experienced prior to the DHL departure.
The Visitors Bureau was established in the late 1990s based on statutes found in the Ohio Revised Code, and the city fathers had a vision for its creation, stating, “the City Council finds that there is a need to encourage and promote, through advertisements and other educational and informational means, travel to and visits in the City of Wilmington, Ohio, for pleasure, business and other purposes, and that fulfilling that need will be beneficial to the entire hotel, motel and lodging industry throughout the City…”
Has that vision been lost? The economic impact on this fair city says no. What do you say? Say it tonight at 6 p.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room.
Thanking you in advance …
Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau