VACAVILLE — Up, up and up.
That’s the good news that Melyssa Laughlin, CEO of Visit Vacaville, brought Tuesday to the City Council as she presented last year’s accomplishments and upcoming goals in the 2013-14 annual report and the 2014-15 Business and Marketing Plan/Budget.
Hotel occupancy is up, retail is up and the number of people dining in local restaurants is up.
“Things are trending in the right direction,” Laughlin said.
The numbers for 2013 just came out, she said, and among other figures, numbers showed that Vacaville’s transient occupancy tax – a surcharge levied on hotel guests – exceeded $1 million.
Visit Vacaville is tasked with promoting tourism in Vacaville and is largely funded by the city’s transient occupancy tax. Funding from the tax for Visit Vacaville in 2014-15 is estimated at $260,000.
Laughlin also announced the launch at midnight of Visit Vacaville’s updated website, dubbed a “responsive design” that automatically resizes the page based on the size of the device being used by the visitor. This technology means the group does not have to pay for a mobile site anymore. Laughlin called the website the most important sales tool they utilize.
Laughlin said the goals don’t deviate much from year to year but rather they build upon each other and expand each year. Upcoming improvements to the website will include some short videos and expanding the photo library, plus a weekly blog.
They are also working on a new relocation package.
Council members confirmed acceptance of the two reports, voted to continue to levy the transient occupancy tax and also approved the renewal the Vacaville Hotel Business Improvement District agreement between the city and Visit Vacaville, which called for an additional 3 percent to be kept by the city for staff costs incurred during its work with Visit Vacaville.
“You and your staff do an amazing job,” Councilman Ron Rowlett said to Laughlin.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.