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The State Tourism grant has not been included in FY 18 as the amount of this grant is uncertain. $467,714 was received in FY 16 and $460,560 is anticipated in FY 17. A portion of Room Tax, has been dedicated to funding the Town’s advertising budget, Tourism Advisory Board sponsored private events, and funding for City support of Town sponsored and private events. The County Tourism grant was restored in FY 14 and is anticipated in FY 18.



Since FY 10, there have been two full-time employees in this division, the Tourism Director and an Office Associate. Prior to FY 10, five full-time employees were funded. A step increase effective January 1, 2018 has been funded. The Visitor’s Center is staffed by part-time employees. A part-time Office Associate position was added in FY 15 and has been funded, at a cost of $18,186. Increases in Employee Benefits are due to an anticipated 5% increase in health insurance as of January 1, 2018 and an increase in pension contributions.



Advertising is the main expense in the department. $6,140,722 has been budgeted for advertising in FY 18. The FY 17 adopted budget for advertising totaled $5,767,389, while an additional $460,560 will be recognized from the State Advertising grant in FY 17. The funding formula outlined in the FY 08 ordinance has been followed for FY 18. 2.0% of the estimated gross room receipts has been budgeted for advertising for FY 18. Sponsorship of TEAM Productions free events has been included in the advertising line item, while an additional $300,000 in Tourism Advisory Board event funding has also been included. Tourism Advisory Board, “TAB” is also funded by the Room Tax formula and funds Council approved special events and promotions. FY 12 was the first year for the allocation, and it has been funded at $300,000 for seven consecutive fiscal years. The White Marlin Catch and Release sponsorship for the first white marlin of the season is now funded through this budget. Expenses in Contracted Services include marketing research, Team MD, a postage and handling fee for the Visitor’s Guide and the travel and exhibit space for bus tour travel and trade shows. Marketing research and Smith travel research have been included at a combined cost of $16,000 in FY 18. The Visitor’s Guide postage and handling fees remain at $20,000. Office supplies and promotional giveaways are funded in the Supplies and Materials line item. The allocations for vehicle lease, IT Services and insurance increase. No capital outlay has been requested.