On Wednesday, October 19, the Bend City Council heard from Visit Bend on their plan for utilizing an additional $416,000 in Transient Room Tax revenue specifically earmarked for tourism promotion by state statute. These funds had accrued over the previous two and a half years as money that could only be used for tourism promotion but was in excess of the approved Visit Bend budget, due to record transient room tax revenues.

Under their current contract with the City of Bend, Visit Bend must utilize these funds by submitting an addendum to their business plan that details their intentions on how to use the money, that plan must then be reviewed and approved by the Bend City Council. The Bend Economic Development Advisory Board discussed the addendum at their October meeting and recommended the plan for approval.

The business plan addendum included the following highlights:

  • Fund additional winter and shoulder season marketing allocations, furthering reach and frequency in out-of-state markets, and securing new creative assets: $197,800
  • Launch “Visit Like a Local” campaign, promoting a sustainable model of tourism, fostering new partnerships: $72,000
  • Create EDCO Partnership to further link Bend’s lifestyle appeal to business relocation opportunities: $40,000
  • Launch Tenth Month (tenthmonthbend.com) marketing campaign to highlight Bend’s shoulder season cultural, innovative, and business development offerings: $50,000
  • Allocate an additional 7.5% to the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund: $31,200
  • Create a partnership with Discover Your Forest to fund an interactive mapping program helping to disperse trail use in popular areas, and to increase visitor safety while recreating: $25,000

You can catch the entire presentation by Visit Bend as well as City Council discussion by clicking here. The video begins with the presentation, Council makes their formal approval at the beginning of their regular session.