Five percent lodging tax discussed at meeting of Trenton Convention and Visitors Bureau

Trenton Convention and visitors bureau

The Trenton Convention and Visitors Bureau tabled several items at a meeting on November 11th.

One regarded changes and adjustments to the ordinance involving the 5% lodging tax for funding the visitors’ bureau. President Cara McClellan says the organization is seeking City Attorney Tara Walker’s guidance for clarification on the ordinance before adopting bylaws.

There was a discussion about raising public knowledge about the group and the ordinance. Members were encouraged to talk to the public about the mission and goals.

Bylaw discussion was tabled. The organization hopes to receive examples from surrounding communities to assist with a starting point.

A vision statement is to be formed as the group begins drafting the bylaws. Ideas included promoting what the community has to offer.

Another tabled item was a preliminary budget because there was no data to base it on. It was noted the budget is due by May 15th.

Once a budget is established, the visitors’ bureau agreed a top priority was building a website to serve as a landing point for community members and visitors. Other resources were suggested for assistance. Trip Advisor is a tool for local businesses to add their information to help direct visitors. The Missouri Department of Tourism has coop advertising and website support.

The group discussed maintaining information in a visitors’ guide and possibly paying to disperse it throughout the community and adding a digital version to the website. Visit Trenton ads could be placed in several locations, including the Jamesport Visitors Guide and surrounding areas.

There was also a discussion of a positive notice that the lodging tax passed to send to businesses and individuals. Members are preparing an initial draft of the letter to be reviewed before sending it out in the mail. There would be time to ask questions before the collection of the tax with a 30-day notice. McClellan reports the ordinance says a 30-day notice is to be given to businesses who have transient guests before they start paying the tax, so different businesses could start collecting the tax at different times. Cobblestone Inn and Suites is now open and collecting the tax.