4
| News |

DCVB CEO Proposes a Sort of "Hospitality Tax" to Fund Marketing City, Convention Center

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The annual meeting of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau kicked off with drama and class -- a few notes played on a grand piano, a few notes sung from an opera. If you're going to take in a meeting at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, might as well not waste it. But five minutes later the sturm und drang died down, and it was back to Big Business.

This was, of course, the first DCVB meeting since the contentious convention center hotel vote and subsequent groundbreaking, and after a few words from Mark Nerenhausen, CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and Mayor Tom Leppert, Phillip Jones, the DCVB's president and CEO, thanked all present for their support.

"First of all, it was because of you that we were able to win this election to build the Dallas Convention Center hotel," Jones said. "However, there's still a big challenge left out there, and I want to leave you with that challenge this morning." 

The challenge, of course, is raising money to help market the city. But Jones has in mind something that's not yet a reality, a plan that will involve the writing of new legislation.

"In a couple of years, the bonds of the American Airlines Center will be paid off early," Jones said. "And that generates about $12 million a year for the city of Dallas. I think we can do one of two things: We can reallocate that money through legislation ... for the purposes of marketing and assisting the city with the convention center. The other opportunity is something that is being done in California. That is the creation of the Tourism Improvement District, where you would literally allow the 2 percent that is currently in place in the hotel occupancy tax to roll off and then you create a Tourism Improvement District and reallocate that 2 percent...to the Tourism Improvement District. Either way that would generate about $12 million."

And the CVB would manage the funds. "I'm going to ask each and every one of you to help us make this a reality," Jones said to much applause.

We tried to get further info from Jones. His people rushed us off. Wonder why.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.