TDA approved $1 million budget for 2015
The Haywood County Tourist Development Authority approved its 2014-15 operating and events budgets of more than $1 million during a Wednesday meeting.
Chairman Ken Stahl said the good news was that this year’s revenue had exceeded expenses. According to the financial report, revenues through January were $628,933 and expenses through January were $605,208.
Revenue from occupancy tax has also increased over last year. Net revenue from Haywood in 2013-14 was $681,255 and the projected revenue for 2014-15 is $735,638, which is a 3 percent increase over 2011-12.
Canton brought in 7 percent of the total occupancy, Lake Junaluska brought in 1 percent, Waynesville made up 24 percent, Clyde made up 0 percent and Maggie Valley still brings in the majority — 68 percent.
Canton’s 1-percent funding has increased from $15,853 to $19,617. While Focus on Canton requested $12,200 for the annual Mountain Mater Fest, the event this year was cancelled and no funding will be awarded. The Haywood County Fair requested $5,000 but the TDA didn’t approve any money for the fair from the Canton 1 percent funds.
Lake Logan Multisports Festival will receive $2,500; the Bethel Rural Community Organization 5K requested $4,900 but will receive $750; Canton’s 108th annual Labor Day Celebration requested $10,000 and will only receive $5,000; Friends of Camp Hope Quilt Square received $750; Shining Rock River Fest received $2,000 and Canton Farmers Market received $1,500.
Cold Mountain Corn Maize requested $3,000 but none was awarded.
Clyde’s 1-percent revue increased from $613 to $2,452. Fines Creek Bluegrass Jam requested and received $1,000; $250 will go toward Blue Ridge Breakaway and $250 will go to Haywood County Fair.
Lake Junaluska’s occupancy tax has increased from $11,324 to $12,261. While $15,500 was requested for the lake’s annual Independence Day fireworks and celebration, only $5,000 was granted.
Appalachian Christmas requested $7,500 and received $2,500; $500 will go toward Folkmoot; $250 will go to the county fair and $500 will go to the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce Half Marathon though $7,925 was requested. Blue Ridge Breakaway received $1,500.
Maggie Valley’s 1-percent revenue increased from $126,824 to $134,867. Maggie Valley Festival Grounds will receive $20,000 for grading and improvements, $10,000 will go toward purchasing “Winter Woods” lighting, $750 will go to the Southeastern Gas and Petroleum Expo in the spring; $750 will go to the Maggie Valley Swap Meet and Car Show, $2,000 will go to Maggie Valley Fall Days; $54,476 will go to Maggie Valley groups for co-op advertising and $8,796 will go to Haywood County Hotel & Motel Advertising initiative.
Other events receiving funding are the WNC BBQ Festival, Maggie Valley Oktoberfest, Maggie Valley Moonlight Run and Blue Ridge Breakaway. The Miss Maggie position, which was funded from the 3-percent funds last year, will be funded from Maggie Valley’s 1 percent this year, will receive $2,800 and $8,000 will go toward the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director position.
Waynesville’s 1-percent funding has increased from $72,471 to $76,016. Waynesville Gallery Association’s Art after Dark received $4,500; HART received $3,000 for out of region advertising; The Strand at 38 Main received $1,000 for its Thursday Night Music Series; Apple Harvest Festival and Blue Ridge Breakaway received $4,000 and Melange of the Mountains will receive $3,980.
Other events being funded are the Mountain Street Dance, Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration, Church Street Arts & Crafts Festival, The Classic Wineseller’s Live Music Series and Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival.
Folkmoot USA requested almost $11,000 but didn’t receive any funding due to lack of funding. ArtFest, which was formerly International Festival Day for 30 years, requested $8,000 but only received $4,000.
3 percent funds
Out of the 3-percent occupancy tax fund, $4,700 will go to developing plans to maximize bicycle tourism in Haywood; $3,225 will go to a shuttle and tents for the Oasis Shriners Spring Ceremonial being held at Maggie Valley Festival Grounds; $4,000 for the Haywood County Agri-tourism Guide, $6,000 for Folkmoot Festival and $1,800 for a new event — Buy Haywood’s Uniquely Local Food Crawl being put on by the Haywood Advancement Foundation.
Much of the TDA's budget also is spent on personnel salaries, insurance, accounting, office supplies for the visitor centers, promotional materials, travel, the visitor guide, rent, marketing, video marketing and other tourism-related expenses.
The TDA budgeted $143,519 for salaries, $44,671 for four part-time staff members for the visitor centers, $300,000 for advertising, $17,500 for accounting services and $10,000 for promotional merchandise.
A few line items have been beefed up for some new marketing initiatives. Out-of-county travel was increased from $4,000 last year to $7,000 this year. Educational costs increased from $3,400 to $6,500, marketing costs increased from $10,546 to $20,000 and communications and public relations costs increased from $0 to $13,000.
The TDA also budgeted $20,000 this year to pay for trimming vistas and overlooks on Blue Ridge Parkway.