Bishop TBID in the works

traffic-bishop.jpgThe Bishop City Council has approved a resolution that declares the City’s intent to set up the Bishop Tourism Improvement District. A public meeting and hearing will follow. Only lodging businesses would be assessed, and the money would be used to pay for marketing and sales promotion efforts for the assessed businesses. The Bishop Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau devoted time and effort to this plan.

According to the City Council agenda, a petition was received, reviewed by the City Clerk, and found to have the necessary signatures for the City to move ahead with the resolution of intent. The City Council voted unanimously to approve the resolution.

That document says that lodging businesses that will pay more than 50% of the assessment proposed have signed and submitted petitions in support of the formation of the BTID. The boundaries of the district are the same as the City of Bishop.

The resolution says that the annual assessment is 2% of gross on short-term stays of less than 31 days. The assessment will not apply to government employees staying on government business. The document says the plan for the assessments is to provide direct benefits by increasing room night stays through sales and marketing programs.

The meeting to hear testimony on this plan, according to the resolution, is set for October 27th at 7pm in the Council Chambers. The public hearing to establish the BTID and the levy of assessments is set for November 10th at 7pm or as soon thereafter as may be heard in the Council Chambers.

If there are written protests by the owners of the lodging businesses that would pay more than 50% of the estimated total assessment of the entire BTID, there would be no more proceedings for one year.

A nearby neighbor, the Town of Mammoth Lakes, established a Tourism Business Improvement District last year. There was some controversy over this move which includes assessments of 1% of gross on lodging, 1.5% on restaurant and retail and 2% on lift tickets and ski school sales. There were initial objections to assessing restaurant and retail stores. Enough support was finally garnered to move ahead.

Again, the Bishop Tourism Improvement District would assess lodging only.

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Sean
Sean
8 years ago

There is a major difference between the BTID and the program established in Mammoth. The BTID will only assess lodging. Mammoth opted to assess all lodging, retail and restaurant operations. This means that visitors see a tourism tax on everything in Mammoth…no wonder they look at it negatively. In Bishop,… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago

I’m no raving conservative that rails against any and all taxes, but you can’t just tax your way to prosperity. It’s just not that simple. These ideas are short-sighted IMO.

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago

Great idea. People need to be reminded that we are here before they will come and all business in Bishop benefit from new visitors. This fee makes far more sense that using general taxpayer funds to pay for advertising of the county. Attracting tourists is a cost of doing business… Read more »

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago

Some case studies can be found here, for convenient research: http://www.tourismimprovementdistrict.com/case-studies.php

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  bishop rocks

With all due respect, I question the motivations of the organization in your link. A group of attorneys and consultants who profit from assisting communities to enact TBID programs?

Forgive me if I don’t accept all of their claims at face value.

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago

Somehow I know someone would say that…. I’ll be more specific: Instead of just being a ignorant naysayer, why don’t you (like I have) do some actual research on how this type of program has been used successfully in anyone of the following cities that have reported increased tourism through… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  bishop rocks

Well everyone is doing it so it must be good? Sorry, but I’ve seen enough of that mentality in local governments to know better. That aside, I am interested in this research you say you’ve done. Do you have any specifics other than glossy words from consultants? I truly would… Read more »

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago

I’m assuming you won’t accept case studies from consultants or communities promoting that this has worked…so what resources am I allowed to post to help provide more information on how this proposal works? I’m not saying “because everyone else is doing it so we should” per se. I’m saying because… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago

@bishop rocks, I’m not trying to pick a fight with you over this, I just don’t buy in to the concept. These costs will be passed on to the visitors which can have unintended consequences for the business operators. Travelers are already hit with many dubious fees and add-ons as… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago

The idea doesn’t seem functionally different than business advertising, which seems to be pretty effective. Taxes in and of themselves may not lead to prosperity, but money spent wisely can certainly do so. So basically what this does is raise money from tourist-oriented businesses to attract customers for those businesses,… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  bishop rocks

That’s a pretty impresive list until you get to Lancaster .Anyway, Bishop needs to improve it’s image as a tourist and speed trap with the L.A. market, before any is going to want to spend vacation dollars here. The Adventure Trail System is a great first step in my personal… Read more »

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago

Also, no one admires a critic and I think everyone agrees this area needs some good ideas for economic development. So by all means, let’s hear what ideas you have, instead of everyone constantly dragging their heels every time someone suggests changing something. I completely serious – anyone have any… Read more »

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago
Reply to  bishop rocks

Or, if you don’t have any ideas to contribute to the conversation about improving the economy, would someone please educate me about why this would be bad for Bishop?

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago

One more thought – there are lots and lots of corporations, lobbies, and legal firms that provide consulting services to communities for legal representation, civil engineering, planning, design, landscaping, installing the drinking fountains “Trouble” has nominated for his econ dev strategy, marketing, graphics, printing services….the list goes on. Just because… Read more »

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago

Good! Bishop has to compete as a destination just as if it were a business, and other destination towns throughout California and intermountain west (our competition) already employ this type of financing tool to market themselves. The status quo of Bishop is a declining economy and closing businesses, and action… Read more »

Rachel
Rachel
8 years ago

It is TBID not BTID…dyslexic much?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Actually BTID stand for Bishop Tourism Improvement District, which is its name. Benett Kessler

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Fun when those little annoying dogs snap at your heels aint it?

Tinner
Tinner
8 years ago

Welcome to Mammoth.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Try putting drinking fountains on every corner on main st. People will have a friendly image of us driving thru. Most people I know that come thru here know us as a speed trap mostly.

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

and VC 21950 stings

Shine
Shine
8 years ago

Sounds like the big chains will control the votes and benefit the most. Don’t see this helping the local owners that keep more of their profit in town.

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago
Reply to  Shine

That’s not actually how a TBID works. The incremental raise in lodging prices goes back to Bishop, specifically for marketing, promotion and investment in the community. Maybe you can explain what your fear is on this subject?

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  bishop rocks

TBIDs go to district not city. Point is bigger businesses can outvote small ones if percentage of income generated is only voice. Case study you provided shows San Diego TBID exempted at first and then accessed much lower rate later for smaller hotels.

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago
Reply to  Shine

But outvote on what? Who actual administers the money? If the money is used for promotion of Bishop as a destination, won’t all lodging benefit? And other businesses as well? If that is a concern, could we have a board that administers the money that has an equal number of… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  bishop rocks

Outvote on formation of BTID. Holiday Inn would pay much greater percentage of “assessment proposed” than Trees Motel for example. Just going by info in article. Interested to know what vote was by individual business and what smaller ones think.

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

OH for the love of god, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE NOOOOOOOO.

Just look at Mammoth Lakes, do you really think the TBID really helped last winter?. Before the TBID people still visited Mammoth. People return to an area based on their experience and not because of an ad.