September 2010 home page

  Government by Hotel
Bud Emerson, Klish Way

The Del Mar City Council is moving ahead to create a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) which will enable the city to collect 1% of all hotel room rents in the city. The money, estimated to be about $130,000 annually, will be turned over to a private corporation formed by Del Mar hotels. This corporation will make decisions about how to spend these monies without Council or citizen involvement. The purpose of the program is to “brand” and market Del Mar hotels and to subsidize the budget of the Del Mar Village Association (DMVA).

Supporters of this program believe it will increase tourist traffic to Del Mar which will benefit the hotels, other businesses, and city tax revenues. Critics believe the money is insufficient to accomplish effective marketing and think such decisions should not be delegated from the city to private parties who are not accountable to the public. Surveys of business improvement districts in other cities have not been able to document their effectiveness.

A City Council public hearing on this program will be held on September 16.


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