Steamboat Springs lodging tax committee meets Wednesday

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— Community members on Wednesday can get a glimpse of the inner workings of the committee charged with vetting the 38 ideas for how to spend revenue from the city's lodging tax.

City Council member Kenny Reisman, who also serves on the six-member lodging tax committee, said the noon meeting at Centennial Hall is open to the public, but no public comment will be accepted.

Reisman said that before the meeting ends, the committee hopes to have weeded out any applications for the lodging tax that don't fit the ballot language that first created the revenue stream in 1986. Committee members also will suggest that some of the applications for similar items, such as a disc golf course, be consolidated.

The applicants left standing will be invited to fill out a more intensive and thorough "request for proposal."

“We're very pleased about the scope of ideas that were out there,” Steamboat Springs Lodging Association Chairman Larry Mashaw said last week.

Still, he said he and the other members of the lodging tax committee already have identified several applications that won't clear the first hurdle.

“There were five (applications) we felt right off the bat didn't meet the basics of the ballot language,” he said.

Mashaw said there are more than six applications in a “gray area” that also could be eliminated from contention.

Mashaw and Reisman declined last week to name any of the proposals already identified for elimination, saying the applicants have yet to be informed. They said they plan to notify them after Wednesday's meeting.

Last month, the city released the full list of applications for the tax that typically nets $650,000 to $800,000 each year. The proposals ranged in scope from a one-hour TV special on the history of Howelsen Hill and Steamboat Ski Area to the revitalization of Yampa Street.

Since its inception, the 1 percent tax on nightly accommodations has been used to build the first Strings Music Festival concert tent, the original Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs bubble and Haymaker Golf Course and clubhouse. The tax revenues will be freed up beginning in 2014, after Haymaker's debt is expired in 2013.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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