Hotel tax income up

By Kelsey Gerhardt - [email protected]

The Bell County Tourism Commission met last week in regular session to discuss the increase in stays at local hotels. According to director Jon Grace, the numbers are better than in the past and are up according to the Kentucky Tourism Cabinet numbers.

“Most of the numbers across the area were either down or stayed the same, but we were one of the only to go up. I was happy with it,” said Grace.

Whitney Howard was welcomed as the newest member of the commission.

Events are currently being scheduled for 2017 and there are hopes to continue annual events such as the Wing Fling and Cumberland Mountain Fall Festival, with more of an effort from the commission.

New rack cards and shirts for the commission will be distributed soon. Grace believes the shirts will help create a branding effect for Bell County Tourism and will be worn to conferences.

The Bell Theater and Main Street Pineville had a success with the presentation of Frosty the Snowman by The Barter Players with 1000 attendees. The Bell Theater also has several shows and private events booked for 2017 .

The Bell County Tourism Commission voted to approve the purchase of a large Christmas Tree in downtown Pineville. The tree will be approximately as tall as the courthouse and will fit over the fountain. The amount approved was for the payment of a reusable tree for up to $12,000.

Currently, Pineville and the commission are in negotiations about how to divide the restaurant tax generated in Pineville. According to KRS 91A.350, cities with a population of 7,500 or less can have tourism commissions funded by a local restaurant tax.

In the early 1990’s, Judge Farmer Helton ruled to allow Pineville to hold the specific tax revenue to pay for the bonding costs of the projected hotel and golf course project. Smaller cities who do not have a transient room tax (hotel tax) typically have their tourism boards and commissions funded through this money.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.

By Kelsey Gerhardt

[email protected]

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