New tax could lead to better cooperation between museums, hotelsThe cost of staying in a Superior hotel or motel could be rising slightly. The 1½ percent increase in the hotel/motel tax could leave the city’s museums better situated to give visitors something to do while in town.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
The cost of staying in a Superior hotel or motel could be rising slightly.
The 1½ percent increase in the hotel/motel tax could leave the city’s museums better situated to give visitors something to do while in town.
The money the city collects through the tax increase would be distributed between the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center and the Superior Public Museums, which operates the SS Meteor, Old Firehouse and Police Museum and Fairlawn Mansion for the city.
The money — an estimated $117,000 will be divided to give almost $110,000 to the Bong Center and the balance to the Superior Public Museums, said Dave Minor, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber, which operates the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mayor Bruce Hagen said he had discussions with the city finance director and Minor concerning ways the city can further support city museums in the face of declining revenue. He said while hotel and motel owners weren’t thrilled with the idea, they didn’t seem to have “heartburn” over the idea either.
“They understand and they also want to promote the city,” Hagen said.
He said part of the goal is to enhance the relationship among hotels, motels and the museums.
There’s always been a partnership between the city, the industry and the Convention and Visitors Bureau to make sure these things succeed said Minor.
“We’re starting some new things here,” Minor said. He said the idea came from a couple of hotel owners who admitted they did not do a very good job of promoting the museums.
The goal is for the museums to work more closely with the hotels and motels in the city to ensure front desk staff know what’s going on at the museums from week-to-week, providing information to share with hotel guests.
“Each museum will be responsible — let’s say from Wednesday to Wednesday — to let us know what’s going on over that seven days, whether that be events, special programs, discounts,” Minor said.
Staff from the Convention and Visitors Bureau will then turn that information into a detailed email that will go out to the hotels and motels. The information will then be displayed and serve as an easy reference for the hotel staff. Hotel staff can also print out the information to hand to guests.
In the first year, Minor said, the program goal is to focus first on the busy season — summer and fall.
Other ideas include allowing early access to the museums, incentives and packages that are geared to the guests of area hotels.
Eventually, he said he would like to have a tourism week, where hotel staff would have the opportunity to visit area museums to learn about them.
“If we’re going to ask the front desk staff to sell this, we’ve got to tell them what they’re selling, Minor said.