The Springdale Advertising and Promotion Commission approved a $475,500 budget for 2017 during its regular meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 21) at the Springdale Chamber of Commerce.
The budget reflects a 3.4% increase over 2015 and includes $69,000 in tourism grants given to 20 organizations for projects promoting Springdale’s hotels, restaurants, meeting facilities, attractions and businesses, according to the commission.
The commission projects its hospitality tax collections will show a 6% year-over-year increase for 2016, based on revenues totaling $428,229 through November on historic December receipts.
In October, the city of Springdale surpassed $50,000 in monthly tax revenue from lodging rentals for the first time collecting $50,941 and marking a 15.72% year-over-year increase and a 9.6% increase from September.
“These numbers show that Springdale is becoming a destination in Northwest Arkansas for tourism, conventions and event planning,” Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said in a press release announcing the October receipts. “Additionally, when people come to Northwest Arkansas, whether it’s for a football game at the University of Arkansas or to check out the natural beauty of our region, more and more, they are choosing to stay in Springdale.”
Tourism-related tax collections were also up in the first eight months of 2016, in Springdale and also Fayetteville and Bentonville. Springdale had the biggest bump, with hotel tax collections marking an 8.5% increase over the same period in 2015.
The A&P tax does not look at restaurant sales, only hotels.
“We’ve seen consistent growth in our hotel collections all year long,” said Bill Rogers, vice president for communications and special projects at the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. “I think it’s a reflection of our strong economy. I also think our great facilities and central location put us on the leading edge of increased business travel,” he said. “Leisure travel is also growing across the state and region and we benefit from that as well.”
The A&P commission was formed in 1991 to promote tourism to the city, and it manages the promotion of tourism for the city using revenues generated by a 2% hotel and motel accommodation tax.
Appointed members of the commission are Roger Davis, chairman, Laura Bazyk, Justin Cole, Mark Henry and Richard Winesburg. Two members of the Springdale City Council, Rick Culver and Mike Lawson, also serve on the commission.