City council to consider subsidy to help struggling travel industry in Nacogdoches

City council to consider subsidy to help struggling travel industry in Nacogdoches
The Nacogdoches CVB recently was reorganized. The new director is confident tourism will regain its strength in the Oldest Town In Texas.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches City Council gave city staff direction to proceed with a proposal that could be considered the lifeline for the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau. The proposal will be placed within the city budget, to be voted on in mid-September.

Almost three-quarters of the estimated Nacogdoches Hotel/Motel tax fund goes to fund the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Normally, the tax fund totals an estimated $725,000.

During a COVID-19 year, the total is expected to drop to $472,000, a 35% reduction.

“It’s impacted me greatly,” said Joanna Temple, Nacogdoches CVB director of sales. “Obviously, we don’t have people calling right now to necessarily come for this final quarter.”

The negative impact on the CVB’S operation fund drops from over a half a million dollars to just over $342,000. The CVB will use its reserves to pay a staff of four. All are contract employees with the city.

City management’s proposed 3-year staggering subsidy could be the life-saver according to director Sherry Chaney Morgan.

“It’s a $109,000 for this first year. The other difference is traditionally we receive our remittance of hotel/motel occupancy tax from the city quarterly and that will be shifting, we’ll start receiving that on a monthly basis.” (The proposal will be considered the same time the budget is considered.)

The city’s help, if granted, will pay for administration expenses, including insurance, for the small staff. Diminished travel leads to significant cuts in marketing expenses. CVB’s creative content director, Ashley Morgan implements a plan.

" We’re looking at partnering with local entities, like NEDCO and The Fredonia Hotel and doing some co-op pieces that kind of work for both of us.”

Morgan said, “At the end of the day we are a promotional entity. We are the advertising agency for the city.”

City management states the collaborative plan will continue to provide funding for the expo center, conventions, and museums.

“Our historic preservation which is bread and butter in Nacogdoches,” said Morgan.

Tourism promoters want 2020 to go down as the year tourism survived a pandemic.

The city budget will be discussed on Sept. 15.

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