Lodging tax revenue could fund off-season promotions for Birch Bay

Published on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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The money is there, all the residents of Birch Bay need is a plan.

That was the message Mt. Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce president Carole MacDonald sought to convey to Birch Bay business owners and residents at an informal meeting at the Birch Bay Waterslides Thursday night. About 22 people showed up the meeting eager to hear ways to promote tourism in Birch Bay in the fall, winter and early spring months.

The aforementioned money comes from a special 2 percent lodging tax collected from motels, hotels and other short-term rental establishments throughout the state. Incorporated cities collect it from within their city limits, while counties collect it from their unincorporated areas, such as Birch Bay and the Mt. Baker foothills area.

Last December, the Whatcom County Council approved $153,000 for the Mt. Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce to spend on off-season promotions for the foothills and Birch Bay area. Mt. Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce have developed a burgeoning promotional plan for their off season (the spring and summer months), and now it's up for Birch Bay residents to come up with one for their community, MacDonald said.

MacDonald said the point of the meeting was tell Birch Bay’s business owners about the available funds. The foothills chamber is managing the funds and will help a committee of Birch Bay residents spend them on off-season promotions for Birch Bay.

“We want your ideas; we’ve got the money,” MacDonald said.

Look for a full story on this topic in the upcoming issue of The Northern Light. For my last story on this issue, click here.



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