Mammoth Lakes Tourism recently sent out its first TBID e-newsletter.
With the TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District) coming up for renewal next year, I guess they think it’s time to start rolling out the propaganda.
Many well-paying jobs are at stake.
I don’t see what they’re worried about. Mammoth Resorts alone controls 40% of the TBID vote. Other big hitters like Sierra Nevada Resort and Snowcreek Resort have representatives on the Board, implying they’ll be ‘yes’ renewal votes.
The TBID will be renewed.
For those who might not know what TBID represents on their bill, 2% of every lift ticket, 1.5% of retail and restaurant purchases and 1% of lodging goes towards a marketing fund for Mammoth Lakes.
Mammoth Lakes Tourism then turns around and contracts with advertising agency MeringCarson to do the bulk of its creative, brand strategy, ad placement, etc. MLT’s 2017-2018 proposed budget anticipates spending $3.3 million with the well-regarded, Sacramento-based agency which also counts Visit California as a client.
MLT’s other major expense is its own staff. It spends about $1 million annually on wages and benefits. Its Executive Director is the highest-paid public employee within the Town (let’s not kid ourselves, MLT is a governmental organization), making a $200,000 annual base salary. Chump change compared to your typical Hospital District CEO, but a nice check nonetheless.
*According to transparentcalifornia.com, former NIH CEO John Halfen pulled in $380,000 in base salary during his final year (2013).
Between TBID collection and MLT’s designated share of TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) revenue, Mammoth’s marketing organization brings in north of $8 million annually.
What appears below is what appeared in the first newsletter, which we as taxpayers actually paid someone to write, forwarded to me by several people, I imagine, just to incite me. I quote it just because you might otherwise think I’m making it up:
“Think of the success of the local community as a funnel. Visitors come to town and business owners pass along taxes and assessments such as TOT and the TBID, which help fund Mammoth Lakes Tourism’s marketing efforts so it can attract more visitors.
Visitors arrive more steadily throughout the year (especially in years like this one where Mother Nature gives us a hand), and all of you have successful seasons, can pay and retain employees, complete improvements and have a more steady income and lifestyle.
At the bottom of the funnel are the TOT dollars that are collected due to larger quantities of visitors. The more TOT dollars collected, the more money ends up in the Town’s coffers (i.e. the General Fund). These dollars can then be used to maintain the town, and support and build up the infrastructure that we are so badly in need of.
Take money out of the top of the funnel, and you’ll likely end up with less money coming out the bottom.”