No Bookmarks Exist.
OK, let's call in session today's. 00:00:01
Finance Committee meeting. 00:00:03
Gentleman, if you would take a look at the minutes after review, there's a motion motion to approve. Mr. Chairman, Second, all in 00:00:06
favor, say aye. Aye minutes are adopted. 00:00:10
Item number one. 00:00:16
New business authorization to disperse from District 1 improvements fund Councilman Wilson. Yes, Sir. 00:00:18
Requesting to. 00:00:25
Support the Johnny Shines Blues Foundation. 00:00:27
You know, I love music. I'm gonna have a music lover. Our community loves all different genres of music, and this is just a great 00:00:31
time. Caroline got Yes, you got to the man she got. 00:00:37
And um. 00:00:43
I wanted to support that that event and hopefully our community will support. 00:00:45
Ohh that event as well. 00:00:50
Ohh so I'm asking for. 00:00:52
Famous John saw Johnny Shines play in the Chuck. 00:00:56
I think I might have only time I was ever in there. Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. Alright. Is there a motion? 00:01:01
So moved second all in favor. Say aye, aye. 00:01:08
Sanctions is proved Item number 2. 00:01:11
Miss Standridge Gray Matter Consulting Consulting contract 215,000. 00:01:15
Yes, good afternoon, Council. Good afternoon, good afternoon. This is the annual. 00:01:22
Some extension of the contract for Grand Matter Consulting. They are our grants consultant service provider. 00:01:26
This is the consultant that has gained us the awards, such as the $2,000,000 to build grant, $17 million for the RAISE grant. 00:01:32
And you know, and so on and so forth. 00:01:43
To date, great. Our consulting ROI for what we have paid them is approximately 11,534%. 00:01:45
From there, they don't get credit for the the raise grant. We gave it back. 00:01:53
Just because we did that was our outcome, doesn't mean they didn't get it awarded to us in the work they did allowed us to be able 00:01:59
to have that opportunity anyway. 00:02:04
They are not increasing their fees. The 215,000 is the sense that they were we were paying them last year and we do have grants on 00:02:09
the horizon that we would like to at least be competitive or and they are our best opportunity to do. 00:02:16
OK, gentlemen, any questions? 00:02:23
Parts. 00:02:25
Carly Do we direct? 00:02:27
Them are they bringing opportunities to us all the time? It goes both ways. We will tell them what our priorities are. If we see 00:02:28
anything of interest to us, we definitely send it to them. 00:02:33
And by it works by person. We and when we talk about our priorities are they're out there searching and they'll bring us 00:02:38
possibilities to say this one looks interesting. What do you think about it? 00:02:42
So it can go that way. 00:02:48
However, we definitely do direct them on like that one doesn't look like we want to. 00:02:51
You know, playing that pool, or if that one does look interesting, can you get a little bit more information? 00:02:55
So move. 00:03:01
Second, all in favor, say aye aye, OK, item is approved. 00:03:02
Let's say General Fund Budget revision #19 Ohh, I'm sorry. 00:03:10
2nd. 00:03:18
Um this general fund measure revision is actually for Miss Howard's backpack give away that she was mentioning earlier in pre 00:03:19
council. 00:03:22
If you will recall, all of the councils district improvement funds, it's awarded $10,000 every fiscal year and some years it's not 00:03:25
fully spent. 00:03:30
And when that remainder is not fully spent, we will archive it and accumulate it. And then, you know, council members can propose 00:03:36
to use that accumulation from prior years. 00:03:41
With the backpack giveaway and Miss Howard has gone over her 10,000 allotted for fiscal year 2023 and so we are proposing to move 00:03:47
some of her accumulation from prior years into the current year. 00:03:52
Any questions? 00:03:59
Simulation too. I gotta figure out how much I got. 00:04:00
Worthy project. 00:04:04
Spend too much money. 00:04:07
Motion approved. Second, all in favor, say aye item is approved. 00:04:10
Thank you Miss standards. 00:04:15
Thank next Tuscaloosa. 00:04:17
Visit Tuscaloosa The Artist Formerly known as Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports. 00:04:21
Thank you. 00:04:28
In your agency funding presentation. 00:04:29
Welcome. 00:04:32
This is going to be back in town. We have a hard. 00:04:34
Thank you. 00:04:39
Think about that. I should have requested we still have green. 00:04:43
Ohh. 00:04:47
That's not. Thank you. 00:04:48
So just so you guys know, what you're getting right now is I wanted to. 00:04:50
Patient. 00:04:54
So that's in the bag. 00:04:55
Part of the. 00:04:56
This morning. 00:04:58
Updated. 00:04:59
And we also have some new local pins that have. 00:05:01
E-mail. 00:05:05
The. 00:05:06
Give you guys that. 00:05:07
But. 00:05:10
Thank you for giving us this opportunity. 00:05:12
To be here this afternoon and to share an update on. 00:05:14
All the wonderful things that are happening at. 00:05:17
Tuscaloosa. 00:05:20
Visit Tuscaloosa continues to operate as Tuscaloosa's destination. 00:05:21
Organization and organization that you invest in. 00:05:26
While our efforts certainly enhance the quality of life for our residents. 00:05:30
Inspires and drives the visitation. 00:05:34
And fuels the engine for economic development. 00:05:37
We also do what very few agencies can do for you and that is that we help generate revenue. 00:05:40
You know, every opportunity we have to bring more visitors to Tuscaloosa means more dollars are being spent in our community. 00:05:46
You'll see here shortly that in 2022 visitor spend across our county was up 2020 or 20% last year. 00:05:53
That means more revenue available to fill potholes, paved roads, support our schools, maintain facilities like the Tuscaloosa 00:06:00
Amphitheatre. 00:06:04
Fund organizations like Visit Tuscaloosa. 00:06:09
And much more. 00:06:11
Now before I begin, I do want to briefly mention just last week. 00:06:13
We had the opportunity to print present our rough draft of our five year strategic plan to our Board of Directors. 00:06:17
It was a lot to digest, but we are wrapping that up and once that is complete, we do look forward to sharing that with you 00:06:24
spending time talking about that. 00:06:28
It is important for organizations that have a vision for the for for the future and to have a path. 00:06:33
It's played out for that, but it is going to take the partnership of everyone here for us to achieve the things that we want to 00:06:38
achieve. 00:06:42
Now my intention for today is to share three things briefly remind you what it is that we do. 00:06:46
Of the impact that we have. And then I do want to spend a little bit of time talking about why we need to consider more resources 00:06:51
for destination promotion, what that means for community and the impact that it can have. 00:06:57
Now at Visit Tuscaloosa, our passion is what drives our purpose and it's what motivates us every day to share the spirit of 00:07:04
Tuscaloosa. 00:07:08
Tourism is the first date to economic development. 00:07:13
It helps position our community to compete. 00:07:18
We strengthen the economic position and the vitality of our community. 00:07:21
We provide opportunity for our residents. 00:07:25
And again, generate new revenue for you. 00:07:28
Because of time, we'll go into the nuts and bolts of what we do every day, but as a reminder, continue to think of us. 00:07:31
As your sales and community promotion team for Tuscaloosa. 00:07:38
Everything we do should fall under 3 core pillars and that's sports, turrets, sports and tourism sales. So meetings, conferences, 00:07:42
conventions, group tours, sporting events, family reunions, reunions. Those are the type of things that we are trying to bring to 00:07:47
Tuscaloosa. 00:07:51
Awareness and promotion and then advocacy and product development. Again, for timing purposes, we'll wait until we talk to you 00:07:57
about our strategic plan to talk more about what product development means. 00:08:02
And what that looks like for us moving forward? 00:08:08
Now I am very fortunate to continue to be surrounded by a dynamic and thriving team at Visit Tuscaloosa. 00:08:13
They are the individuals that make what we do possible every single day. I'm the lucky one that gets to stand up here and talk to 00:08:21
you about impact. 00:08:24
But really it is your team, these individuals on the screen and sitting over here in this corner, that drive, that impact every 00:08:28
single day. 00:08:32
We are so fortunate to have this great group of individuals doing what we're doing. 00:08:37
So Speaking of impact, let's go ahead and dig in. So just to give you perspective, I want to talk about the visitor economy first. 00:08:42
And then we'll dive into visit Tuscaloosa's direct impact as an organization. 00:08:49
So here's the good news. There's a lot on the screen. Again, it provided you a copy. 00:08:54
But I want to hit on on the hotel revenue and inventory facts first. 00:08:58
As of June, we have added more hotel rooms into our inventory, so we are up to 4404 rooms across the county. 00:09:03
93% of that falls in city limits of Tuscaloosa, so that's about 4100 hotel rooms. 00:09:12
In fiscal year 2020, two 100 hotel rooms in Tuscaloosa, that is correct. 00:09:18
The city of Tuscaloosa collected almost $11 million last fiscal year in lodging tax revenue. Here's what's exciting to share with 00:09:25
you, which I think you guys already have. 00:09:30
An idea that this is happening the running 12 months hotel revenue growth is trending 11%. 00:09:36
Where we are in the fiscal year, August and September are typically pretty high producing high revenue month. 00:09:41
I feel pretty confident that that 1111% is going to sustain throughout the rest of this fiscal year. So what does that mean for 00:09:47
you? 00:09:51
We project that the city is positioned to generate 1.1 to $1.3 million in new lodging tax revenue. I'll be really interested, 00:09:55
Carly, to see how close we are to those projections. So Speaking of revenue. 00:10:01
I want to highlight Kelsey. That's one one. 00:10:08
.1 to 1.3. 00:10:11
On the 11 million, on the 11 per well? 00:10:13
Based on what the city collected last year, if we trended that 11%, yes, that's correct, 1.1 to 1.3 million. 00:10:16
New. 00:10:24
Income. 00:10:24
That we're projecting. 00:10:25
So lodging revenue for the county last year was up again. As we mentioned most of the hotel rooms are in the cities limits. So 00:10:27
most of that revenue is seen here in Tuscaloosa. 00:10:32
Just to put it into perspective, if we in 2023 with a 11% growth that puts us around 112, one $115 million in lodging revenue for. 00:10:38
Lodging revenue for 2023. 00:10:48
Hotel occupancy is something I want to highlight because when I talk about. 00:10:52
The revenue that we brought in this last fiscal year that was at 58% occupancy. 00:10:57
So I see that number and I say, well, that really means we still have a lot of opportunity, 42%. 00:11:02
That we can fill hotel inventory and hotel rooms. 00:11:09
The other thing that's interesting to me is that the US national average last year was 62.7. 00:11:12
So just to put it into perspective, if we were up five points, if we were at that 62.7. 00:11:18
That would have meant 65,000 additional hotel rooms for the year and another 615,000 in revenue for the city. 00:11:24
I feel very confident that we can get to that point, but it is going to take intentionality, it is going to take additional 00:11:33
resources for us to put towards business development sales. 00:11:38
Promotion to help us move the needle and get there, but we will. 00:11:43
And that will be reflected in our strategic plan as well. 00:11:46
We've already talked a little bit about visitors. Yes Sir. 00:11:50
So. 00:11:56
50. 00:11:57
58%. 00:11:58
Hmm. 00:12:00
The 4100 room. 00:12:01
We have. 00:12:02
Or. 00:12:04
On the app. 00:12:05
The average fuel is throughout the year. 00:12:06
National 62 national average last year was. 00:12:08
22.7. 00:12:12
Before the pandemic and keeping in mind we've added a lot of rooms to our inventory over the last several years. 00:12:14
So we were at. We should be surprised if we see. 00:12:21
Keep going. 00:12:27
OK. Alright. Sure, yeah. 00:12:28
So visitors spend again was up 20%. You know, probably inflation plays a little bit of role in that, but. 00:12:33
What I think we sometimes lose sight of is that we focus so much on lodging tax, but the reality is, is that the visitor is 00:12:39
spending dollars in many different ways when they come to our community. 00:12:44
They are eating in our restaurants, they are shopping and supporting our small businesses. 00:12:50
You know, when they're here for baseball and softball tournaments, they're probably going to the gas station to get Gatorade, or 00:12:54
they're maybe going to Publix to make a get a sandwich. So they're spending dollars in many different ways, and that's something 00:12:58
we need to not lose sight of. 00:13:02
So the good news is is for a visit Tuscaloosa as well. Much like our local economy visit Tuscaloosa saw great growth in what we 00:13:09
did last year as well. 00:13:13
So our economic impact when in the 94 events that we recruited, supported or assisted in some capacity, we estimate our economic 00:13:18
impact to have been $28.5 million, which is about a 19% growth from the prior year. 00:13:25
Our room nights booked went up as well, about 4%. 00:13:33
Something else, a couple of metrics that we've never really shared before, but it's good for us to measure is we're attending 00:13:38
trade shows. This is where our sales team Jasmine, Shavon and Stan. 00:13:42
They're going and they're pitching Tuscaloosa to individuals who are making decisions on where they're going to host their next 00:13:47
event. 00:13:51
And so we attended 13 trade shows and had 335 one-on-one meetings with individuals who are making those decisions. That is where 00:13:55
they're going. They're building those relationships and they have to be there. They've got to be consistent and attending those. 00:14:02
Additionally, we hosted 26 different press visits. That is not something we have done before and this is something we are very 00:14:09
proud of. 00:14:13
That means we had travel writers, journalists, influencers from as close as. 00:14:17
Here in Alabama, all the way from Europe. 00:14:22
Come to Tuscaloosa in the last year and give us the opportunity to pitch our community to them and what's great about that is they 00:14:24
go home. 00:14:28
And they write a story and they share about Tuscaloosa when they get home. 00:14:32
We don't have the tools that we need to be able to quantify the value in that media recognition that we get. That's something we 00:14:36
want to work towards. 00:14:40
But there's absolutely value in doing things like that. 00:14:45
The last thing I want to mention on here on this slide and I want to share a few examples is also the. 00:14:49
Engagement and the activity that we are having on social media. 00:14:55
With the limited resources that we do have, social media has been a tool for us that surprisingly has been very organic. We've not 00:14:58
put very much money behind what we do on social media. 00:15:04
But we are seeing great response. 00:15:10
From both our visitors and our residents, and I want to share a few examples of what we've seen. 00:15:12
So this first one I took the audio out just again for time, but we do business spotlights pretty regularly. 00:15:18
Around or on our social media. So we did something for Druid City Maker Space not too long ago. This video, just on Instagram 00:15:25
alone, had over 18,000 views. 00:15:29
We reached out to Tiffany and we said can you tell us if you noticed a difference after we sent that social media post out? 00:15:34
And she You can see her response. There was an immediate boost in their followers. 00:15:40
Their website traffic increased 57% and there were people coming into their business that did not know that they existed before 00:15:44
that social media post. 00:15:48
I think most everyone here knows Sharon Thomas with Thomas Rib Shack. We have loved working with her. We have brought multiple 00:15:53
travel writers to Sharon. We have included them in Restaurant Week. We promote them on social media and her simple and short 00:15:58
quote. 00:16:03
Gives you an idea of the impact that we are having on the businesses that we support. 00:16:08
And here's just a few of many more examples of the con or the feedback that we get on social media. And what I love about this 00:16:14
screen right here is that not only are we motivating behavior. 00:16:20
For our potential visitors. 00:16:26
We are influencing the residents who live here too. 00:16:28
And these, in these examples right here demonstrate that we have people who constantly reach out to us and say I have lived here 00:16:32
for 10 years. 00:16:36
I have lived here for five years, I have lived here since 2017 and you are helping me learn to love the community that I live in. 00:16:40
I am finding out new things every single day through your content. 00:16:46
So again, I say. 00:16:52
Social media has been very powerful. What can the impact be if we committed more resources to promoting our community? 00:16:55
Is. 00:17:04
Are you are you with this strategic plan? Are you gonna have an idea what? 00:17:04
Resources need to be or is that something that you have to invest blank amount of money, right or whatever. Is that for your 00:17:08
expectation is no. So the the idea is that we will sit down and have a conversation and come up with that plan together. I'll show 00:17:13
you here a slide in just a second that kind of benchmarks where we are in comparison to some cities, but that's something we want 00:17:18
to. 00:17:24
Plan with you together. 00:17:29
We've got to do it together for it to be successful. 00:17:31
So we've talked a lot about, again, community promotion and what that means, what is the benefit of it? Why put more resources 00:17:35
towards it? 00:17:40
Well, we believe these five things are really important and the result of that, it improves quality of life for residents. 00:17:44
I didn't point out this number, but tourism creates jobs. Last year we had almost 10,000 people employed in the tourism industry 00:17:52
here in our county. 00:17:56
We're support supporting the small businesses that we've already identified. We've talked about generating tax revenue. 00:18:00
And tourism plays a much bigger role in economic development than I think people realize. 00:18:06
So this is just one more example. We launched Restaurant Week this week and I think it kind of encompasses, it's a very simple 00:18:12
example that encompasses all of those together. We had great participation with our restaurants, but. 00:18:18
We had multiple people share with us that they had record weeks or they had to order more food items because it exceeded their 00:18:24
expectations. 00:18:28
And what I love again there is that we're driving both visitors and residents to our businesses generating that revenue. 00:18:33
Here's what the reality, though, is of our strategic planning. And through that process we dug into what are some of our peer 00:18:41
colleges doing as it relates to destination promotion. 00:18:46
I promise you this was not intentional. We were not trying to point out that Tuscaloosa is at the bottom of the list. It is the 00:18:52
reality that we are. We tried to be very specific on the communities that we wanted to investigate and tried to be very 00:18:58
intentional. And I can share with you if you have questions about why we picked the cities that we did. 00:19:05
We have to change this narrative and I know that we can do that and. 00:19:12
What is that money that? 00:19:18
That Auburn has of their former spend $1,000,000? There's Where's that come from, Logitech. 00:19:20
Is that probably where? 00:19:27
The majority of that money comes from these other cities. 00:19:29
Most destination marketing organizations are funded through the lodging tax. 00:19:31
Some We just went to Raleigh as an example. It's not a. 00:19:36
Definitely not an apples to apples, but Raleigh they get lodging tax revenue and do you remember the mayor what it was like a food 00:19:39
and? 00:19:43
Beverage preparate preparation tax or something. 00:19:46
So again, there are some different ways that cities are doing it, but lodging taxes typically. 00:19:49
A common one. 00:19:54
In our industry. 00:19:56
So budget This is just a breakdown of the 2023 budget as well as the 2024 proposed budget. 00:20:00
Quite honestly, we are coming to you with a pretty minimal ask. 00:20:07
And then? 00:20:11
An increased ask for this next year. 00:20:12
And the reason I did that is because I think it's important for us to have the strategic plan in place and for us to sit down 00:20:15
together to figure out what does that look like for the next couple of years for us so. 00:20:19
The increased request is $64,000 this year. One thing I want to make note of that I did we didn't realize until after the fact is. 00:20:24
You advocated for us to have $85,000 in additional funds last year, which we were super appreciative of, but it fell as a special 00:20:32
allocation. So our asker for consideration is that wherever we land on the budget this year, can it just be all one line item 00:20:38
would be the request this year too? 00:20:43
So we're looking from 1.3. A little over 1.3 to 1.4 is our request for 2024. 00:20:49
Now I do need to share this because this is very exciting for us and this is kudos to Jasmine's really hard work she has. 00:20:57
Worked hard to build some relationships over the last several years and we have won two major conferences that we will host in 00:21:04
2024 and we did not know this. 00:21:09
Prior to us submitting our agency funding request. 00:21:14
So it's important for us to let you know that because of these conferences, think kind of like the Alabama League of 00:21:17
Municipalities. 00:21:20
These are both conferences where we have to pay to play. 00:21:24
We are required to host these conferences. We are required to do some things like. 00:21:27
Sponsor some dinners. We have to do some. 00:21:32
Fam tours of our community for the attendees, et cetera. 00:21:35
So on this screen you see what our estimated expenses are for those two components. 00:21:39
So we'd like to ask for your consideration for the $64,000 and maybe a special allocation for $52,000 to help us support these two 00:21:45
conferences. 00:21:50
Again, the these conferences. 00:21:55
These are individuals we want in our community. They are coming here and they have the potential to bring business back to 00:21:58
Tuscaloosa once they leave. So we really want to wine and dine them and showcase our community in a positive way. 00:22:05
We've had a lot of major wins this year. We're only halfway through the year. We've got a lot on our on deck for us to wrap up in 00:22:13
2023. I shared this in your. 00:22:18
And your copy of your presentation as well. And I would encourage you to take a look at it when you have a moment. 00:22:23
But really, just in closing, one I really wanted to make sure leave. Mr. Busby got to see his video up here on the screen. 00:22:29
But in closing. 00:22:36
Much like the city visit, Tuscaloosa is experiencing a lot of positive momentum and growth and growth. 00:22:38
I think today, even though we've had very little time with you, we've demonstrated to you how we are putting your dollars to work 00:22:45
for you and for the city. 00:22:49
You know, as the city grows, as lodging tax revenue continues to grow, as sales tax revenue continues to grow as it relates to 00:22:53
visitors. 00:22:57
We want to encourage you to take into consideration how our funding could reflect that growth as well. There is a story for us to 00:23:01
tell. There is capacity for us to bring more visitors here. 00:23:07
And there is a reason for us to bring visitors beyond the seven Saturdays in the fall and I believe we can do that and we can make 00:23:13
it happen together. 00:23:17
So with that, I'll answer any questions that you might have. The team is also here to answer questions that you would like to ask. 00:23:21
Thank you for not airing the audio that went with that. Some of it would have had been bleak. 00:23:28
But can you go back to the, I think it was the pie chart, about three or four slides did that. 00:23:37
I wanna see where the money is going to cause you. 00:23:41
It is, Yes, Sir. 00:23:45
That's the destination promotion and even our sports tourism and our tourism business development, that's where we have to move 00:23:48
the needle. 00:23:51
You know if. 00:23:55
We need two things. We need to do 2 things. We need to invest in some software and some tools to help us measure our ROI so we can 00:23:56
better quantify that and communicate that to you. 00:24:02
In addition to that, we just need to put more dollars to promoting our community. 00:24:08
And I say that from a leisure travel, leisure tourism standpoint, but also from a tourism and sports tourism standpoint, your 00:24:12
sports tourism. 00:24:17
Yeah, one in hand. So the reason that looks like that is because. 00:24:22
Are super small. Now it's Super 7. 00:24:25
Super Sevens budget falls that out, yeah. 00:24:28
We'll see where we go with that, yeah. 00:24:33
So that that that does. 00:24:36
Make it look like we've decreased funding quite a bit, but it is largely due to Super 7. 00:24:38
Again, keeping in mind the request for this year. 00:24:47
Isn't much of A. 00:24:49
Jump from the prior year and there was intentionality with that. 00:24:51
So that's why you don't see it moving the needle a lot in this next fiscal year? 00:24:56
Appreciate what you have to say. Thank you. Absolutely. Thank you guys. We look forward to presenting the strategic plan to you in 00:25:03
the very near future. 00:25:06
OK, I think you lowballed it first. 00:25:14
And and. 00:25:18
You're not my Mama. You can't kick me under the table. 00:25:20
Alright. 00:25:25
My mother kicked me a lot when I was young. 00:25:26
I understand why. 00:25:29
I think you did. 00:25:32
And all, but also, I know we're not here to vote on Monday, but I wonder if everybody could remember. 00:25:34
That this is the only agency that we fund that brings in revenue, additional revenue to this city. 00:25:40
And. 00:25:46
The more advantages we can give them, the more money they can bring in. 00:25:48
You went about eight years. 00:25:52
Level funding, yes, Sir. 00:25:53
And we're able to get about 200,000 increases. So you know the goal hopefully will get to 2,000,000. 00:25:56
And I would like to get to at least 1.5 this year with those 54,000 you're talking about. 00:26:04
Along with the 64 something but. 00:26:11
Again, that's my comments that you know, we're not voting or anything today and I'm not on the Finance Committee, but I am a 00:26:13
voting member of the 7th. 00:26:17
Well, we appreciate that consideration and I think. 00:26:21
Good. Well, I will say too, I think it's important for you to know I didn't highlight this. I mean we're asking our other funding 00:26:27
partners to. 00:26:30
Increase their funding as well. So we're not just asking you, we are asking them and I feel very strongly. 00:26:34
That, you know, that's something they need to take into consideration. 00:26:40
Kelsey little bit ask your question Mr. Button. 00:26:43
Yeah, Ohh. 00:26:45
What? What can? 00:26:47
We do to like you talked about family reunions. 00:26:50
And I know that. I know that a lot of. 00:26:54
Families I know. 00:26:57
Have family reunions June and July. 00:26:59
And some of them don't. 00:27:02
May not have. 00:27:05
Taking the time to. 00:27:06
Utilize what you all are doing like the instance I'm. 00:27:08
I contacted. 00:27:13
Of the mayor and yesterday from. 00:27:14
About. 00:27:16
I love the lady that loves him to. 00:27:18
They're having a family reunion. But this week, This weekend. 00:27:22
And so. 00:27:26
I'm like, what can we do to get them to? 00:27:27
Coordinate. 00:27:31
With you all, even though they have their own schedule activities. 00:27:33
What can we do to help? 00:27:37
You know, connect them and show them how you. 00:27:39
This is this can aid you in what you're trying to do. Yeah, I mean networking. 00:27:41
And really getting out in the community so we have an individual in our staff, Shaban. She covers the Smurf market, so social, 00:27:45
military, education, religious and fraternal. 00:27:49
So family reunions falls under that social Yeah, you know, we have a lot of. 00:27:54
Untouched potential in that market, Yes. We actually just today had lunch with a gentleman by the name of Kin who's the chair of 00:28:00
the Divine 9. 00:28:04
And fraternal group and so really tapping into the fraternal groups, really tapping into family reunions, church networks, it's 00:28:09
just going to. 00:28:12
Require us to put our feet on the ground and work that business. 00:28:16
So, but I would say if you know of people who are doing family reunions, have them reach out to us. I mean we help with hotel 00:28:20
RFP's, we provide welcome bags, you know, if they need us to come and help with check-in or registration or something like that, 00:28:26
you know there are things like that that we do for these types of things. 00:28:33
Because we we do have a lot of. 00:28:39
The people that I I know personally. 00:28:41
Ohh. 00:28:44
4th of July weekend and the rent and they do a lot of their families coming in. Yeah, everybody. Well, they said the house, 00:28:45
they're have 75 to 80 people and almost 100 people and they're living in our hotels, they're eating at our restaurants. But yet we 00:28:51
got to figure out a way to connect those guys. The good news is we've seen that business pick back up I would say, I mean. 00:28:57
Just this last year. 00:29:04
I'm going to probably throw off a wrong number, but I think we've had 35 to 40 different types of fraternal and social groups 00:29:06
reach out to us for help, so that number is increased. 00:29:11
Thank you. 00:29:17
Any ideas you guys have are always open to it. 00:29:18
Thank you guys. Thank you. Very good. 00:29:20
Any other items of business be brought for the Finance Committee? 00:29:26
Is there a motion to adjourn? Second, all in favor, say aye, finances. 00:29:31
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OK, let's call in session today's. 00:00:01
Finance Committee meeting. 00:00:03
Gentleman, if you would take a look at the minutes after review, there's a motion motion to approve. Mr. Chairman, Second, all in 00:00:06
favor, say aye. Aye minutes are adopted. 00:00:10
Item number one. 00:00:16
New business authorization to disperse from District 1 improvements fund Councilman Wilson. Yes, Sir. 00:00:18
Requesting to. 00:00:25
Support the Johnny Shines Blues Foundation. 00:00:27
You know, I love music. I'm gonna have a music lover. Our community loves all different genres of music, and this is just a great 00:00:31
time. Caroline got Yes, you got to the man she got. 00:00:37
And um. 00:00:43
I wanted to support that that event and hopefully our community will support. 00:00:45
Ohh that event as well. 00:00:50
Ohh so I'm asking for. 00:00:52
Famous John saw Johnny Shines play in the Chuck. 00:00:56
I think I might have only time I was ever in there. Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. Alright. Is there a motion? 00:01:01
So moved second all in favor. Say aye, aye. 00:01:08
Sanctions is proved Item number 2. 00:01:11
Miss Standridge Gray Matter Consulting Consulting contract 215,000. 00:01:15
Yes, good afternoon, Council. Good afternoon, good afternoon. This is the annual. 00:01:22
Some extension of the contract for Grand Matter Consulting. They are our grants consultant service provider. 00:01:26
This is the consultant that has gained us the awards, such as the $2,000,000 to build grant, $17 million for the RAISE grant. 00:01:32
And you know, and so on and so forth. 00:01:43
To date, great. Our consulting ROI for what we have paid them is approximately 11,534%. 00:01:45
From there, they don't get credit for the the raise grant. We gave it back. 00:01:53
Just because we did that was our outcome, doesn't mean they didn't get it awarded to us in the work they did allowed us to be able 00:01:59
to have that opportunity anyway. 00:02:04
They are not increasing their fees. The 215,000 is the sense that they were we were paying them last year and we do have grants on 00:02:09
the horizon that we would like to at least be competitive or and they are our best opportunity to do. 00:02:16
OK, gentlemen, any questions? 00:02:23
Parts. 00:02:25
Carly Do we direct? 00:02:27
Them are they bringing opportunities to us all the time? It goes both ways. We will tell them what our priorities are. If we see 00:02:28
anything of interest to us, we definitely send it to them. 00:02:33
And by it works by person. We and when we talk about our priorities are they're out there searching and they'll bring us 00:02:38
possibilities to say this one looks interesting. What do you think about it? 00:02:42
So it can go that way. 00:02:48
However, we definitely do direct them on like that one doesn't look like we want to. 00:02:51
You know, playing that pool, or if that one does look interesting, can you get a little bit more information? 00:02:55
So move. 00:03:01
Second, all in favor, say aye aye, OK, item is approved. 00:03:02
Let's say General Fund Budget revision #19 Ohh, I'm sorry. 00:03:10
2nd. 00:03:18
Um this general fund measure revision is actually for Miss Howard's backpack give away that she was mentioning earlier in pre 00:03:19
council. 00:03:22
If you will recall, all of the councils district improvement funds, it's awarded $10,000 every fiscal year and some years it's not 00:03:25
fully spent. 00:03:30
And when that remainder is not fully spent, we will archive it and accumulate it. And then, you know, council members can propose 00:03:36
to use that accumulation from prior years. 00:03:41
With the backpack giveaway and Miss Howard has gone over her 10,000 allotted for fiscal year 2023 and so we are proposing to move 00:03:47
some of her accumulation from prior years into the current year. 00:03:52
Any questions? 00:03:59
Simulation too. I gotta figure out how much I got. 00:04:00
Worthy project. 00:04:04
Spend too much money. 00:04:07
Motion approved. Second, all in favor, say aye item is approved. 00:04:10
Thank you Miss standards. 00:04:15
Thank next Tuscaloosa. 00:04:17
Visit Tuscaloosa The Artist Formerly known as Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports. 00:04:21
Thank you. 00:04:28
In your agency funding presentation. 00:04:29
Welcome. 00:04:32
This is going to be back in town. We have a hard. 00:04:34
Thank you. 00:04:39
Think about that. I should have requested we still have green. 00:04:43
Ohh. 00:04:47
That's not. Thank you. 00:04:48
So just so you guys know, what you're getting right now is I wanted to. 00:04:50
Patient. 00:04:54
So that's in the bag. 00:04:55
Part of the. 00:04:56
This morning. 00:04:58
Updated. 00:04:59
And we also have some new local pins that have. 00:05:01
E-mail. 00:05:05
The. 00:05:06
Give you guys that. 00:05:07
But. 00:05:10
Thank you for giving us this opportunity. 00:05:12
To be here this afternoon and to share an update on. 00:05:14
All the wonderful things that are happening at. 00:05:17
Tuscaloosa. 00:05:20
Visit Tuscaloosa continues to operate as Tuscaloosa's destination. 00:05:21
Organization and organization that you invest in. 00:05:26
While our efforts certainly enhance the quality of life for our residents. 00:05:30
Inspires and drives the visitation. 00:05:34
And fuels the engine for economic development. 00:05:37
We also do what very few agencies can do for you and that is that we help generate revenue. 00:05:40
You know, every opportunity we have to bring more visitors to Tuscaloosa means more dollars are being spent in our community. 00:05:46
You'll see here shortly that in 2022 visitor spend across our county was up 2020 or 20% last year. 00:05:53
That means more revenue available to fill potholes, paved roads, support our schools, maintain facilities like the Tuscaloosa 00:06:00
Amphitheatre. 00:06:04
Fund organizations like Visit Tuscaloosa. 00:06:09
And much more. 00:06:11
Now before I begin, I do want to briefly mention just last week. 00:06:13
We had the opportunity to print present our rough draft of our five year strategic plan to our Board of Directors. 00:06:17
It was a lot to digest, but we are wrapping that up and once that is complete, we do look forward to sharing that with you 00:06:24
spending time talking about that. 00:06:28
It is important for organizations that have a vision for the for for the future and to have a path. 00:06:33
It's played out for that, but it is going to take the partnership of everyone here for us to achieve the things that we want to 00:06:38
achieve. 00:06:42
Now my intention for today is to share three things briefly remind you what it is that we do. 00:06:46
Of the impact that we have. And then I do want to spend a little bit of time talking about why we need to consider more resources 00:06:51
for destination promotion, what that means for community and the impact that it can have. 00:06:57
Now at Visit Tuscaloosa, our passion is what drives our purpose and it's what motivates us every day to share the spirit of 00:07:04
Tuscaloosa. 00:07:08
Tourism is the first date to economic development. 00:07:13
It helps position our community to compete. 00:07:18
We strengthen the economic position and the vitality of our community. 00:07:21
We provide opportunity for our residents. 00:07:25
And again, generate new revenue for you. 00:07:28
Because of time, we'll go into the nuts and bolts of what we do every day, but as a reminder, continue to think of us. 00:07:31
As your sales and community promotion team for Tuscaloosa. 00:07:38
Everything we do should fall under 3 core pillars and that's sports, turrets, sports and tourism sales. So meetings, conferences, 00:07:42
conventions, group tours, sporting events, family reunions, reunions. Those are the type of things that we are trying to bring to 00:07:47
Tuscaloosa. 00:07:51
Awareness and promotion and then advocacy and product development. Again, for timing purposes, we'll wait until we talk to you 00:07:57
about our strategic plan to talk more about what product development means. 00:08:02
And what that looks like for us moving forward? 00:08:08
Now I am very fortunate to continue to be surrounded by a dynamic and thriving team at Visit Tuscaloosa. 00:08:13
They are the individuals that make what we do possible every single day. I'm the lucky one that gets to stand up here and talk to 00:08:21
you about impact. 00:08:24
But really it is your team, these individuals on the screen and sitting over here in this corner, that drive, that impact every 00:08:28
single day. 00:08:32
We are so fortunate to have this great group of individuals doing what we're doing. 00:08:37
So Speaking of impact, let's go ahead and dig in. So just to give you perspective, I want to talk about the visitor economy first. 00:08:42
And then we'll dive into visit Tuscaloosa's direct impact as an organization. 00:08:49
So here's the good news. There's a lot on the screen. Again, it provided you a copy. 00:08:54
But I want to hit on on the hotel revenue and inventory facts first. 00:08:58
As of June, we have added more hotel rooms into our inventory, so we are up to 4404 rooms across the county. 00:09:03
93% of that falls in city limits of Tuscaloosa, so that's about 4100 hotel rooms. 00:09:12
In fiscal year 2020, two 100 hotel rooms in Tuscaloosa, that is correct. 00:09:18
The city of Tuscaloosa collected almost $11 million last fiscal year in lodging tax revenue. Here's what's exciting to share with 00:09:25
you, which I think you guys already have. 00:09:30
An idea that this is happening the running 12 months hotel revenue growth is trending 11%. 00:09:36
Where we are in the fiscal year, August and September are typically pretty high producing high revenue month. 00:09:41
I feel pretty confident that that 1111% is going to sustain throughout the rest of this fiscal year. So what does that mean for 00:09:47
you? 00:09:51
We project that the city is positioned to generate 1.1 to $1.3 million in new lodging tax revenue. I'll be really interested, 00:09:55
Carly, to see how close we are to those projections. So Speaking of revenue. 00:10:01
I want to highlight Kelsey. That's one one. 00:10:08
.1 to 1.3. 00:10:11
On the 11 million, on the 11 per well? 00:10:13
Based on what the city collected last year, if we trended that 11%, yes, that's correct, 1.1 to 1.3 million. 00:10:16
New. 00:10:24
Income. 00:10:24
That we're projecting. 00:10:25
So lodging revenue for the county last year was up again. As we mentioned most of the hotel rooms are in the cities limits. So 00:10:27
most of that revenue is seen here in Tuscaloosa. 00:10:32
Just to put it into perspective, if we in 2023 with a 11% growth that puts us around 112, one $115 million in lodging revenue for. 00:10:38
Lodging revenue for 2023. 00:10:48
Hotel occupancy is something I want to highlight because when I talk about. 00:10:52
The revenue that we brought in this last fiscal year that was at 58% occupancy. 00:10:57
So I see that number and I say, well, that really means we still have a lot of opportunity, 42%. 00:11:02
That we can fill hotel inventory and hotel rooms. 00:11:09
The other thing that's interesting to me is that the US national average last year was 62.7. 00:11:12
So just to put it into perspective, if we were up five points, if we were at that 62.7. 00:11:18
That would have meant 65,000 additional hotel rooms for the year and another 615,000 in revenue for the city. 00:11:24
I feel very confident that we can get to that point, but it is going to take intentionality, it is going to take additional 00:11:33
resources for us to put towards business development sales. 00:11:38
Promotion to help us move the needle and get there, but we will. 00:11:43
And that will be reflected in our strategic plan as well. 00:11:46
We've already talked a little bit about visitors. Yes Sir. 00:11:50
So. 00:11:56
50. 00:11:57
58%. 00:11:58
Hmm. 00:12:00
The 4100 room. 00:12:01
We have. 00:12:02
Or. 00:12:04
On the app. 00:12:05
The average fuel is throughout the year. 00:12:06
National 62 national average last year was. 00:12:08
22.7. 00:12:12
Before the pandemic and keeping in mind we've added a lot of rooms to our inventory over the last several years. 00:12:14
So we were at. We should be surprised if we see. 00:12:21
Keep going. 00:12:27
OK. Alright. Sure, yeah. 00:12:28
So visitors spend again was up 20%. You know, probably inflation plays a little bit of role in that, but. 00:12:33
What I think we sometimes lose sight of is that we focus so much on lodging tax, but the reality is, is that the visitor is 00:12:39
spending dollars in many different ways when they come to our community. 00:12:44
They are eating in our restaurants, they are shopping and supporting our small businesses. 00:12:50
You know, when they're here for baseball and softball tournaments, they're probably going to the gas station to get Gatorade, or 00:12:54
they're maybe going to Publix to make a get a sandwich. So they're spending dollars in many different ways, and that's something 00:12:58
we need to not lose sight of. 00:13:02
So the good news is is for a visit Tuscaloosa as well. Much like our local economy visit Tuscaloosa saw great growth in what we 00:13:09
did last year as well. 00:13:13
So our economic impact when in the 94 events that we recruited, supported or assisted in some capacity, we estimate our economic 00:13:18
impact to have been $28.5 million, which is about a 19% growth from the prior year. 00:13:25
Our room nights booked went up as well, about 4%. 00:13:33
Something else, a couple of metrics that we've never really shared before, but it's good for us to measure is we're attending 00:13:38
trade shows. This is where our sales team Jasmine, Shavon and Stan. 00:13:42
They're going and they're pitching Tuscaloosa to individuals who are making decisions on where they're going to host their next 00:13:47
event. 00:13:51
And so we attended 13 trade shows and had 335 one-on-one meetings with individuals who are making those decisions. That is where 00:13:55
they're going. They're building those relationships and they have to be there. They've got to be consistent and attending those. 00:14:02
Additionally, we hosted 26 different press visits. That is not something we have done before and this is something we are very 00:14:09
proud of. 00:14:13
That means we had travel writers, journalists, influencers from as close as. 00:14:17
Here in Alabama, all the way from Europe. 00:14:22
Come to Tuscaloosa in the last year and give us the opportunity to pitch our community to them and what's great about that is they 00:14:24
go home. 00:14:28
And they write a story and they share about Tuscaloosa when they get home. 00:14:32
We don't have the tools that we need to be able to quantify the value in that media recognition that we get. That's something we 00:14:36
want to work towards. 00:14:40
But there's absolutely value in doing things like that. 00:14:45
The last thing I want to mention on here on this slide and I want to share a few examples is also the. 00:14:49
Engagement and the activity that we are having on social media. 00:14:55
With the limited resources that we do have, social media has been a tool for us that surprisingly has been very organic. We've not 00:14:58
put very much money behind what we do on social media. 00:15:04
But we are seeing great response. 00:15:10
From both our visitors and our residents, and I want to share a few examples of what we've seen. 00:15:12
So this first one I took the audio out just again for time, but we do business spotlights pretty regularly. 00:15:18
Around or on our social media. So we did something for Druid City Maker Space not too long ago. This video, just on Instagram 00:15:25
alone, had over 18,000 views. 00:15:29
We reached out to Tiffany and we said can you tell us if you noticed a difference after we sent that social media post out? 00:15:34
And she You can see her response. There was an immediate boost in their followers. 00:15:40
Their website traffic increased 57% and there were people coming into their business that did not know that they existed before 00:15:44
that social media post. 00:15:48
I think most everyone here knows Sharon Thomas with Thomas Rib Shack. We have loved working with her. We have brought multiple 00:15:53
travel writers to Sharon. We have included them in Restaurant Week. We promote them on social media and her simple and short 00:15:58
quote. 00:16:03
Gives you an idea of the impact that we are having on the businesses that we support. 00:16:08
And here's just a few of many more examples of the con or the feedback that we get on social media. And what I love about this 00:16:14
screen right here is that not only are we motivating behavior. 00:16:20
For our potential visitors. 00:16:26
We are influencing the residents who live here too. 00:16:28
And these, in these examples right here demonstrate that we have people who constantly reach out to us and say I have lived here 00:16:32
for 10 years. 00:16:36
I have lived here for five years, I have lived here since 2017 and you are helping me learn to love the community that I live in. 00:16:40
I am finding out new things every single day through your content. 00:16:46
So again, I say. 00:16:52
Social media has been very powerful. What can the impact be if we committed more resources to promoting our community? 00:16:55
Is. 00:17:04
Are you are you with this strategic plan? Are you gonna have an idea what? 00:17:04
Resources need to be or is that something that you have to invest blank amount of money, right or whatever. Is that for your 00:17:08
expectation is no. So the the idea is that we will sit down and have a conversation and come up with that plan together. I'll show 00:17:13
you here a slide in just a second that kind of benchmarks where we are in comparison to some cities, but that's something we want 00:17:18
to. 00:17:24
Plan with you together. 00:17:29
We've got to do it together for it to be successful. 00:17:31
So we've talked a lot about, again, community promotion and what that means, what is the benefit of it? Why put more resources 00:17:35
towards it? 00:17:40
Well, we believe these five things are really important and the result of that, it improves quality of life for residents. 00:17:44
I didn't point out this number, but tourism creates jobs. Last year we had almost 10,000 people employed in the tourism industry 00:17:52
here in our county. 00:17:56
We're support supporting the small businesses that we've already identified. We've talked about generating tax revenue. 00:18:00
And tourism plays a much bigger role in economic development than I think people realize. 00:18:06
So this is just one more example. We launched Restaurant Week this week and I think it kind of encompasses, it's a very simple 00:18:12
example that encompasses all of those together. We had great participation with our restaurants, but. 00:18:18
We had multiple people share with us that they had record weeks or they had to order more food items because it exceeded their 00:18:24
expectations. 00:18:28
And what I love again there is that we're driving both visitors and residents to our businesses generating that revenue. 00:18:33
Here's what the reality, though, is of our strategic planning. And through that process we dug into what are some of our peer 00:18:41
colleges doing as it relates to destination promotion. 00:18:46
I promise you this was not intentional. We were not trying to point out that Tuscaloosa is at the bottom of the list. It is the 00:18:52
reality that we are. We tried to be very specific on the communities that we wanted to investigate and tried to be very 00:18:58
intentional. And I can share with you if you have questions about why we picked the cities that we did. 00:19:05
We have to change this narrative and I know that we can do that and. 00:19:12
What is that money that? 00:19:18
That Auburn has of their former spend $1,000,000? There's Where's that come from, Logitech. 00:19:20
Is that probably where? 00:19:27
The majority of that money comes from these other cities. 00:19:29
Most destination marketing organizations are funded through the lodging tax. 00:19:31
Some We just went to Raleigh as an example. It's not a. 00:19:36
Definitely not an apples to apples, but Raleigh they get lodging tax revenue and do you remember the mayor what it was like a food 00:19:39
and? 00:19:43
Beverage preparate preparation tax or something. 00:19:46
So again, there are some different ways that cities are doing it, but lodging taxes typically. 00:19:49
A common one. 00:19:54
In our industry. 00:19:56
So budget This is just a breakdown of the 2023 budget as well as the 2024 proposed budget. 00:20:00
Quite honestly, we are coming to you with a pretty minimal ask. 00:20:07
And then? 00:20:11
An increased ask for this next year. 00:20:12
And the reason I did that is because I think it's important for us to have the strategic plan in place and for us to sit down 00:20:15
together to figure out what does that look like for the next couple of years for us so. 00:20:19
The increased request is $64,000 this year. One thing I want to make note of that I did we didn't realize until after the fact is. 00:20:24
You advocated for us to have $85,000 in additional funds last year, which we were super appreciative of, but it fell as a special 00:20:32
allocation. So our asker for consideration is that wherever we land on the budget this year, can it just be all one line item 00:20:38
would be the request this year too? 00:20:43
So we're looking from 1.3. A little over 1.3 to 1.4 is our request for 2024. 00:20:49
Now I do need to share this because this is very exciting for us and this is kudos to Jasmine's really hard work she has. 00:20:57
Worked hard to build some relationships over the last several years and we have won two major conferences that we will host in 00:21:04
2024 and we did not know this. 00:21:09
Prior to us submitting our agency funding request. 00:21:14
So it's important for us to let you know that because of these conferences, think kind of like the Alabama League of 00:21:17
Municipalities. 00:21:20
These are both conferences where we have to pay to play. 00:21:24
We are required to host these conferences. We are required to do some things like. 00:21:27
Sponsor some dinners. We have to do some. 00:21:32
Fam tours of our community for the attendees, et cetera. 00:21:35
So on this screen you see what our estimated expenses are for those two components. 00:21:39
So we'd like to ask for your consideration for the $64,000 and maybe a special allocation for $52,000 to help us support these two 00:21:45
conferences. 00:21:50
Again, the these conferences. 00:21:55
These are individuals we want in our community. They are coming here and they have the potential to bring business back to 00:21:58
Tuscaloosa once they leave. So we really want to wine and dine them and showcase our community in a positive way. 00:22:05
We've had a lot of major wins this year. We're only halfway through the year. We've got a lot on our on deck for us to wrap up in 00:22:13
2023. I shared this in your. 00:22:18
And your copy of your presentation as well. And I would encourage you to take a look at it when you have a moment. 00:22:23
But really, just in closing, one I really wanted to make sure leave. Mr. Busby got to see his video up here on the screen. 00:22:29
But in closing. 00:22:36
Much like the city visit, Tuscaloosa is experiencing a lot of positive momentum and growth and growth. 00:22:38
I think today, even though we've had very little time with you, we've demonstrated to you how we are putting your dollars to work 00:22:45
for you and for the city. 00:22:49
You know, as the city grows, as lodging tax revenue continues to grow, as sales tax revenue continues to grow as it relates to 00:22:53
visitors. 00:22:57
We want to encourage you to take into consideration how our funding could reflect that growth as well. There is a story for us to 00:23:01
tell. There is capacity for us to bring more visitors here. 00:23:07
And there is a reason for us to bring visitors beyond the seven Saturdays in the fall and I believe we can do that and we can make 00:23:13
it happen together. 00:23:17
So with that, I'll answer any questions that you might have. The team is also here to answer questions that you would like to ask. 00:23:21
Thank you for not airing the audio that went with that. Some of it would have had been bleak. 00:23:28
But can you go back to the, I think it was the pie chart, about three or four slides did that. 00:23:37
I wanna see where the money is going to cause you. 00:23:41
It is, Yes, Sir. 00:23:45
That's the destination promotion and even our sports tourism and our tourism business development, that's where we have to move 00:23:48
the needle. 00:23:51
You know if. 00:23:55
We need two things. We need to do 2 things. We need to invest in some software and some tools to help us measure our ROI so we can 00:23:56
better quantify that and communicate that to you. 00:24:02
In addition to that, we just need to put more dollars to promoting our community. 00:24:08
And I say that from a leisure travel, leisure tourism standpoint, but also from a tourism and sports tourism standpoint, your 00:24:12
sports tourism. 00:24:17
Yeah, one in hand. So the reason that looks like that is because. 00:24:22
Are super small. Now it's Super 7. 00:24:25
Super Sevens budget falls that out, yeah. 00:24:28
We'll see where we go with that, yeah. 00:24:33
So that that that does. 00:24:36
Make it look like we've decreased funding quite a bit, but it is largely due to Super 7. 00:24:38
Again, keeping in mind the request for this year. 00:24:47
Isn't much of A. 00:24:49
Jump from the prior year and there was intentionality with that. 00:24:51
So that's why you don't see it moving the needle a lot in this next fiscal year? 00:24:56
Appreciate what you have to say. Thank you. Absolutely. Thank you guys. We look forward to presenting the strategic plan to you in 00:25:03
the very near future. 00:25:06
OK, I think you lowballed it first. 00:25:14
And and. 00:25:18
You're not my Mama. You can't kick me under the table. 00:25:20
Alright. 00:25:25
My mother kicked me a lot when I was young. 00:25:26
I understand why. 00:25:29
I think you did. 00:25:32
And all, but also, I know we're not here to vote on Monday, but I wonder if everybody could remember. 00:25:34
That this is the only agency that we fund that brings in revenue, additional revenue to this city. 00:25:40
And. 00:25:46
The more advantages we can give them, the more money they can bring in. 00:25:48
You went about eight years. 00:25:52
Level funding, yes, Sir. 00:25:53
And we're able to get about 200,000 increases. So you know the goal hopefully will get to 2,000,000. 00:25:56
And I would like to get to at least 1.5 this year with those 54,000 you're talking about. 00:26:04
Along with the 64 something but. 00:26:11
Again, that's my comments that you know, we're not voting or anything today and I'm not on the Finance Committee, but I am a 00:26:13
voting member of the 7th. 00:26:17
Well, we appreciate that consideration and I think. 00:26:21
Good. Well, I will say too, I think it's important for you to know I didn't highlight this. I mean we're asking our other funding 00:26:27
partners to. 00:26:30
Increase their funding as well. So we're not just asking you, we are asking them and I feel very strongly. 00:26:34
That, you know, that's something they need to take into consideration. 00:26:40
Kelsey little bit ask your question Mr. Button. 00:26:43
Yeah, Ohh. 00:26:45
What? What can? 00:26:47
We do to like you talked about family reunions. 00:26:50
And I know that. I know that a lot of. 00:26:54
Families I know. 00:26:57
Have family reunions June and July. 00:26:59
And some of them don't. 00:27:02
May not have. 00:27:05
Taking the time to. 00:27:06
Utilize what you all are doing like the instance I'm. 00:27:08
I contacted. 00:27:13
Of the mayor and yesterday from. 00:27:14
About. 00:27:16
I love the lady that loves him to. 00:27:18
They're having a family reunion. But this week, This weekend. 00:27:22
And so. 00:27:26
I'm like, what can we do to get them to? 00:27:27
Coordinate. 00:27:31
With you all, even though they have their own schedule activities. 00:27:33
What can we do to help? 00:27:37
You know, connect them and show them how you. 00:27:39
This is this can aid you in what you're trying to do. Yeah, I mean networking. 00:27:41
And really getting out in the community so we have an individual in our staff, Shaban. She covers the Smurf market, so social, 00:27:45
military, education, religious and fraternal. 00:27:49
So family reunions falls under that social Yeah, you know, we have a lot of. 00:27:54
Untouched potential in that market, Yes. We actually just today had lunch with a gentleman by the name of Kin who's the chair of 00:28:00
the Divine 9. 00:28:04
And fraternal group and so really tapping into the fraternal groups, really tapping into family reunions, church networks, it's 00:28:09
just going to. 00:28:12
Require us to put our feet on the ground and work that business. 00:28:16
So, but I would say if you know of people who are doing family reunions, have them reach out to us. I mean we help with hotel 00:28:20
RFP's, we provide welcome bags, you know, if they need us to come and help with check-in or registration or something like that, 00:28:26
you know there are things like that that we do for these types of things. 00:28:33
Because we we do have a lot of. 00:28:39
The people that I I know personally. 00:28:41
Ohh. 00:28:44
4th of July weekend and the rent and they do a lot of their families coming in. Yeah, everybody. Well, they said the house, 00:28:45
they're have 75 to 80 people and almost 100 people and they're living in our hotels, they're eating at our restaurants. But yet we 00:28:51
got to figure out a way to connect those guys. The good news is we've seen that business pick back up I would say, I mean. 00:28:57
Just this last year. 00:29:04
I'm going to probably throw off a wrong number, but I think we've had 35 to 40 different types of fraternal and social groups 00:29:06
reach out to us for help, so that number is increased. 00:29:11
Thank you. 00:29:17
Any ideas you guys have are always open to it. 00:29:18
Thank you guys. Thank you. Very good. 00:29:20
Any other items of business be brought for the Finance Committee? 00:29:26
Is there a motion to adjourn? Second, all in favor, say aye, finances. 00:29:31
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