November 13, 2019 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica City Council To Consider Tourism District To Boost Occupancy:

For tourists visiting Southern California, Santa Monica is a likely destination. City officials are weighing up a new plan in a bid to not only attract more tourists to Santa Monica, but also encourage them to stay in one of the city’s many hotels.

Council members filed and received a report Tuesday by City staff to consider the development of a new assessment district that “would be a self-imposed and self-governed benefit assessment district designed to help fund marketing and sales promotion efforts for Santa Monica hotels.”

To be considered again at its Dec. 11 meeting, Council members will decide whether or not to create a Santa Monica Tourism Marketing District (SMTMD) in hopes of bringing more tourism dollars to the city.

Such districts were created in other cities, including Long Beach, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood and, as City staff pointed out, have been used to help promote their communities as tourism destinations.

Among the activities the SMTMD would partake in to promote tourism to Santa Monica: print advertisements in magazines and newspapers; television and radio advertisements; attendance at trade shows; and, partnerships with public relations firms.

According to City staff, the new district, or SMTMD, would essentially complement Santa Monica’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) as a sustainable funding source that would provide additional revenues for tourism promotion and marketing.

If created, the SMTMD would include all lodging businesses located within the boundaries of the City of Santa Monica with an average daily room rate of $100 and above and be in effect for five years. According to City staff, 30 hotels would pass that threshold and be subject to an assessment.

“The assessment would be assessed at a fixed rate, per occupied room, per night,” City staff stated in a report.

The assessment rate would be $2 per room night for hotels with an average daily rate between $100 and $199.99. For hotels where the average daily rate is between $200 and $300, the assessment rate would be $3 per room night. If the average daily rate exceeds $300, the assessment rate would be $4 per room night.

Assessment rates, which would be collected by City Hall on a quarterly basis, could potentially be increased by no more than 25 cents per year.

City staff stated the funds would be used for marketing and sales promotions to increase tourism and to market Santa Monica lodging businesses as tourist, meeting, and event destinations.

“The programs and services provided with the district funds will be designed specifically to drive room night sales at assessed lodging businesses,” a report issued to the CVB by Civitas stated. “Only assessed lodging businesses will be featured in marketing materials, receive sales leads generated from district-funded activities, be featured in advertising campaigns, and benefit from other district-funded services. Non-assessed lodging businesses will not receive these and any other district-funded services.”

Logistically, the CVB would serve as a standing advisory committee with four to nine members, with at least four of those members representing the assessed hotel. The SMTMD could potentially be disestablished should existing levels of funding for marketing programs be reduced.

The SMTMD is expected to have an average annual budget of about $3.13 million to supplement, not supplant, existing City funding for tourism marketing.

According to City staff, tourism and the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) has long been a significant General Fund revenue stream that supports basic City services and functions. In the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year, City Hall reported the TOT generated about $36 million.

City Hall also reported allocating more than $2.5 million to the CVB for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year.

Council members Terry O’Day and Bobby Shriver were both not present at the Nov. 13 council meeting. However, O’Day was present Nov. 14 when council members voted on the Village Trailer Park agenda item.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica Sees Nearly 9 Percent Spike in Part 1 Crimes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud gives crime update. By Sam Catanzaro Over the past month, Santa Monica has experienced a string...

Man Charged for Murdering Mother

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office files charges on Stephen Lloyd Fader. By Staff Writer The Los Angeles County District...

Fighting Fires, Tackling Homelessness, Saving Lives

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

The role of fire departments in 21st-century urban centers.  By Keldine Hull Do firefighters fight fires? Obviously, but most of...

SM City Defends Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Staff Writer Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their January 22 meeting to join an amicus brief to...

SMPD Mounted Patrol Aids in Arrest

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) carried out an arrest on February 1 with the aid of horses....

MDR Oil Well Explosion Sparks Debate

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

Jan. 18 incident sheds light on the dangers of oil wells in the city. By Tor Marom Discussions on public...

State of the City: Climate Change, Communication Among Challenges Facing Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Mayor Davis delivers annual address. By Tor Marom This past Wednesday, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce held its annual...

Santa Monica and ‘Big One’ Preparedness

July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

All it took was 10-20 seconds for the 1994 Northridge earthquake to rattle Southern California in a way no earthquake had done before. Dozens of people lost their lives and thousands more were injured as the state reeled from a catastrophic event that cost billions in damages

Santa Monica Man Arrested for Attempting to Murder Girlfriend

February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019

Kevin Ferron charged with attacking girlfriend Anna Koosman. By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) have arrested a...

Fire Damages Santa Monica High Rise

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Shores Apartments unit catches fire Monday night.  By Staff Writer A Santa Monica high rise by the beach caught fire Monday...

SMPD to Conduct Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Citations and increased enforcement Feb. 15 and 18. By Staff Writer  The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting bike...

Judge’s Final Ruling Orders Districts, Special Election

February 17, 2019

February 17, 2019

Final judgement calls for July 2 special election to choose new council.  By Sam Catanzaro  A final judgment has been...

Santa Monica Police Seize 29 Guns, Cocaine, Meth and Heroin

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

By Staff Writer  On February 15,  the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) Narcotics/Vice Unit along with SWAT served multiple search...

Adapting to Santa Monica’s Single-Use Plastic Ban

February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

City’s disposable food-ware ordinance under effect. By Keldine Hull When an updated Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance went into effect...

Council Votes Unanimously to Appeal District-Election Ruling

February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019

City of Santa Monica to appeal ruling that elections are in violation of CRVA.  By Sam Catanzaro On February 21,...