SLO County creates a tourism district
June 11, 2015
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to create an agency that will impose fees on lodging businesses in order to raise marketing money for bolstering tourism in the county. [Tribune]
When it comes into existence on July 1, the San Luis Obispo County Tourism Marketing District will begin levying 1 percent assessments on all overnight rentals in the county. The assessment affects hotels, motels and inns, as well as vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and RV rental parks.
The new district is expected to raise an estimated $2.8 million a year. The money will go to Visit San Luis Obispo County, a nonprofit that is supposed to spend the funds on marketing efforts aimed at attracting more tourists and convincing them to stay longer than just a day or two.
Supporters outnumbered opponents two to one at Wednesday’s meeting. Some business owners, though, asked the supervisors to exempt vacation rentals and bed-and-breakfasts.
Vacation rental and bed-and-breakfast owners who spoke at the hearing said they do their own marketing and have higher occupancy rates than hotels and motels. They also said large hotels, not small lodging businesses, should finance the district.
Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Frank Mecham said they were willing to to exempt vacation rentals and RV parks, but the other members of the board did not agree.