Following the news of the potential creation of a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) in June Lake – The Sheet canvassed some of the local businesses in June to gauge support for the idea.
The Mono County Board of Supervisors has yet to grant $47,000 to hire a consultant to study the matter, although it did vote 4 to 1 last week to further pursue options as to how the county could support the June Lake Chamber of Commerce in providing funds for the consulting fee. For more, see the July 22 Sheet.
Of the businesses successfully contacted (eight), a handful didn’t know what a TBID was or that the Chamber of Commerce was actually taking steps to implement one.
“I had heard a little about it from the June Lake Chamber of Commerce over the past couple years,” said Andrew Jones of Silver Lake Resort, “but I didn’t realize it’d been moving forward like it was.” At this point in the process, Jones is neither for nor against the TBID. He wants first-hand knowledge of what the system might look like. What a TBID could fully do.
When asked about the June Lake TBID, a spokesperson for the Balanced Rock Grill and Cantina replied, “What is that?”
The owner of Epic Cafe explained that, off the top of her head, she probably would not be open to a TBID, being a Ma and Pa shop that wouldn’t appreciate the additional costs a TBID would incur.
A spokesperson for Gull Lake Lodge said that an endorsement of the TBID would depend on what programs TBID funds would go toward. Stocking fish? Forget about it. Sponsoring local employee housing? Bingo. “The devil’s in the details for me on that one,” he said.
Diane Hanson of Sierra Wave T-Shirt Company said she thought a June Lake TBID would be a good thing. A bit more work for businesses, but with money coming back into the community, the assessment would be good for the area in the long run.
Connie Lear of Rainbow Ridge Realty and Reservations agreed. “I think it’s great,” she said. A TBID that could help with not only shoulder season tourism but also infrastructure for bathrooms, trash cans, and other necessities. Lear also explained the TBID formulation’s next step – the contacting of local businesses in town to see if they’d be in support. The shape of what industries will be included – e.g. lodging, retail, restaurants, the ski area – has yet to be decided. Lear also explained that 51% of the businesses in the community had to be in support of the TBID in order for it to be enacted.
This is not quite accurate. To pass a TBID, businesses who represent a total of 51% of local tax revenue need to be on board. One’s vote is proportional to the size of the business and revenue generated.
The percentage of vote for any one business is capped at 40%. In Mammoth, Mammoth Resorts alone controls 40% of the vote.
Jill of the Tiger Bar Cafe explained that she has yet to be contacted about a TBID for June Lake. “We’re feeling a little used and abused here,” she said. She does not support it. At all.
One June Lake resident – who wished to be nameless – stated that they were 100% in favor of a June Lake TBID.
“June Lake needs a lot more funds to accomplish our goals,” they said.
The resident pointed toward Mammoth’s TBID, and how June residents contribute to it and fail to directly reap the rewards.
“Every business should participate,” they said.
They mentioned using funds for more parking, for marketing, for more infrastructure in town, and for more family-centered special events.
As for why some businesses weren’t aware that the TBID ball was rolling in June, the resident explained that “people don’t go to meetings.” Which makes it hard to know what’s going on.
“This has been in process for two years,” they said.
We spend all our money in Mammoth because that’s where stores and stuff are, explained the resident, and then we get left with nothing.
“It’s about time we get some control,” they said.
Per the resident, if the county can’t make June Lake projects happen with June Lake resident tax money, then June Lake residents should do it for themselves.