Starkville Visitors and Convention Council officials have realized more than their projected revenues for the fiscal year, and one official sees the trend continuing.
The VCC – the advisory council for the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau – is a member organization of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. The board reviewed its financial picture during Wednesday’s VCC meeting.
As of Aug. 31, the VCC received $139,398.71, or 134.04 percent, of its budgeted revenue from the city’s hotel tax. The city’s 2 percent restaurant and hotel tax generated $191,788.89, or 100.94 of estimated revenue. A month remains for collections on both revenue streams.
Jennifer Gregory, the GSDP’s vice president for tourism development, attributes the revenue surge to the “influx of visitors” to the community, specifically for spring and fall events such as the Cotton District Arts Festival and Mississippi State University football games.
“We’re expecting this trend will remain in the upcoming fiscal year due to the excitement” around the MSU football program and “other community events at which we are seeing increased attendance,” she said after the meeting.
In other matters, the board:
• Welcomed new board members Bill Daniel, an at-large member representing the retirement community; Bill Ford, another at-large member; Shlynn Morris, a restaurant member and Jeremy Murdock, a tourism member. The new members will become voting members at the next meeting.
• Bid farewell to several members who are rotating off the board, including Ann Bailey, Chip Carley, Michelle Jones, Deb Shafer and Lyle Tate.
• Voted to make Bethany Stich the board’s vice chair. Jeremiah Dumas will assume the chairmanship of the panel Oct. 1.
• Set a bimonthly meeting schedule – unless special voting matters arise – starting in November, making the VCC’s next meeting Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m. Officials set the schedule “just to try to respect our board members’ time and focus each meeting on updates and specific voting matters,” Gregory said.