The Superior City Council will meet as a committee of the whole Tuesday, Sept. 14, to discuss the future of tourism in the city.
The council has the power to act on a pair of changes to the city’s hotel-motel room tax ordinance that would allow a tourism commission to use 70% of the city's room taxes for tourism promotion and development starting Jan. 1, 2022. The other change would create the Superior Tourism Development Commission.
The city currently contracts with Travel Superior to handle tourism development. The contract expires at the end of the year.
The idea is not new, said Michelle Hostetler of Gordon. Hostetler worked with a group of citizens in 2016 to try to convince city leaders to make the change when Wisconsin’s law changed. The measure never moved forward.
“(Commissions) were created by the Legislature in 2016 in Wisconsin to have better buying power and to bring communities together to work toward a common goal,” Hostetler said. “… A lot of communities went to them in 2016. I think Superior’s the biggest community that didn’t go to a commission right away.”
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Hostetler said by going to a commission, city officials would be improving tourism development in Superior.
“It’s a lot more accountability,” Hostetler said. “It’s a lot more specific services.”
The commission would be able to work toward specific projects and develop a convention center, Hostetler said. The commission doesn’t mean Travel Superior would lose the contract to handle the marketing component of tourism development if they have a good proposal, she said.
Tourism development is defined as marketing, tourism information services and tangible municipal development that promotes overnight stays. Travel Superior handles marketing and tourism information services.
“The whole thing is to support the hotel and hospitality industry,” Hostetler said. “They are the ones who did the lobbying to get this passed.”
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Government Center boardroom.