Tourism Promotion Assessment Receives Support of Council, Hoteliers

Release Date: 
07/24/2012
The Eastern Oregon Trade and Events Center (EOTEC) will have a dedicated revenue stream to fund marketing and promotion through a new Tourism Promotion Assessment (TPA). The Hermiston City Council approved collection of the TPA at its meeting July 23, with the fee taking effect Sept. 1, 2012.
 
Vijay Patel, a member of the West Umatilla County Motel Owners Association, spoke at Monday night’s City Council meeting of the importance of marketing for the short and long-term success of EOTEC. Members of the motel owners association met last week and voted in favor of the TPA, Patel said.
 
The TPA works as a flat-rate charge of $1 per motel room per night, and $0.50 per RV space per night for all hotels, motels, and RV parks in Hermiston. The fee will be collected along with the City of Hermiston’s existing Transient Room Tax because the mechanism for collection is already in place. Once the TPA funds are collected, they will be separately accounted for and deposited with the EOTEC Authority.
 
“The TPA money is not the city’s money,” said City Manager Ed Brookshier. “All the city does with this money is collect it and pass it on to EOTEC.”
 
The EOTEC Authority estimated revenue of $55,000 from the TPA in its adopted 2012-13 budget. Although the EOTEC isn’t slated to open until 2015, EOTEC Board member Dan Dorran says the TPA funds will be the hardest-working funds leading up to the facility’s opening. The marketing funds will be used to promote the facility and schedule early commitments from groups to use the facility. These early commitments will be vital in maximizing the value of naming and promotional rights at the facility.
 
The EOTEC facility, once constructed, will host the Umatilla County Fair and the Farm City Pro Rodeo.  The facility is also planned to include large events space that will be available to attract events year-round.