Citizen Editorial: Investing Mason County’s Lodging Tax Marketing Dollars

The good news is… according to data provided by Mason County at the last Lodging Tax Advisory Committee meeting earlier in June, the revenue generated is up by just over 17% this year over last. This means that next year Mason County will have an increase in the amount they can invest into tourism related efforts.

At present, there are 3 streams of grants recommended for funding from this committee of which I have recently been appointed a member.

  1. Visitor Information Centers
  2.  Mason County Marketing…The goal is to increase the number of folks staying in overnight accommodations.
  3. Festivals

At our next meeting on July 29th at 9:00 am the LTAC is meeting again to make recommendations related to marketing Mason County as a tourist destination. The team has received several proposals to rank according to some specific goals identified. This meeting will be held at the County Commission office on 5th street and is a public meeting. Three proposals will move to the next phase for interviews.

In addition to encouraging citizens, businesses owners and community organizations to attend, I would like to ask for some input into how you might invest these tax dollars into a tourism marketing campaign? What do you think? Mason County has about $174,000 this year. How should Mason County spend it? Where? And….who or what kind of organization should make the media buy decisions?

Right now, all advertising, tourism promotion, and media buy decisions are made by two individuals. Heidi McCutchen, from the Shelton Mason Chamber and Stephanie Rowland from the North Mason Chamber are the only two people in this town that make all these decisions at present. I am not sure why it was set up this way in the past. In any case, the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee is meeting to allocate two years of funding to one of this years’ seven applicants.

Please let me know what your thoughts are? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Respectfully,

Angela L. Rabelos, Harstine Island
Mason County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Member
July 10, 2014