ELKO – The Elko Convention and Visitors Authority hopes for a strong recovery in the coming fiscal year following the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board met this week to discuss the draft budget for 2022-23.
“Just a very superficial view of what the current lodging taxes are for the current fiscal year, this could be a banner year for us,” board member Matt McCarty said.
Over $1 million in tax revenue is expected, despite a possible 2% drop in the transitional lodging tax due to fuel tax inflation costs.
“Given that we may have issues with inflation and gas prices, I would like to see marketing fund spending increase by maybe another 25%,” McCarty said. “We may have to give people more money to get them to come to Elko.”
The tentative budget for marketing is $719,000.
The budget includes $2.4 million in general fund expenditures; $379,333 for facility expansion and $520,868 for capital projects. Total expenditures are $3.9 million.
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Board Chairman Dave Zornes questioned the projected revenue from renting the conference center.
“It is greater than our history. Do we already know that we are going to have enough training [events]He asked. “That’s great, I just wonder what we’re basing that good number on.”
The revenue estimate is up this year for conferences, especially those at Nevada Gold Mines, said ECVA Comptroller Cheryl Garcia.
The budget lists $142,000 in facility rental revenue at the convention center and $184,000 at the conference center, which opened in 2015.
Earlier this year, the Elko City Council awarded three Tourism Impact Grants totaling $504,256 to ECVA from American Rescue Plan Act funds.
This week, the board discussed a number of potential expenses, including the cost of maintaining the aging convention center building and the need to update sound and lighting equipment in the theatre. The convention center was built in 1979.
Katie Neddenriep, who is stepping down as chief executive, outlined some of the staffing needs.
“We’ve also added two and a half to three positions to this next year’s budget, a facilities role and a facilities supervisor and an administrative support role which is in the marketing budget,” she said.
At future meetings, the board will consider options to “collaborate with other organizations and/or entities for economies of scale, administrative support, and sustainability of operations.”
For example, McCarty said the convention center doesn’t have a human resources manager. This was an area in which Neddenriep was competent due to his past experience.
The board also discussed the need to improve information technology.
“We have established an IT/capital project schedule,” Neddenriep said. “Next year, the office server needs to be upgraded. Twenty-six thousand dollars is an exact number for that. It should last five or six years. It will also position the organization if you start moving towards cloud-based software programs and platforms it will have the capability to support that. The current server is not there.
On the revenue side, Neddenriep mentioned the use of the buildings by non-profit organizations.
“Historically, we’ve had a list of events or activities that have taken place in the building: The Cowboy Poetry Gathering, The EMS Conference, the car show, the Safety Olympiad, the POW/MIA,” he said. she declared. “If the organization wants to continue to budget a bucket to say we’re willing to give up that amount of revenue for facility use, and, if so, how much you’re willing to let to fall.”
The budget is expected to be finalized on April 15.