A&P Commission Recap: February 2011

Staff photo / Enlarge
Staff work to clean up after an event Wednesday afternoon at the Fayetteville Town Center on the downtown square. The facility will soon have new carpet and paint.

The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission held its second meeting of 2011 at 2 p.m. yesterday inside the Town Center on the downtown square.

Below is a roundup of highlights from the group’s monthly meeting for February 2011.

Roll Call

Present: Neal Crawford, Bob Davis, Marilyn Heifner, Bill Lyle, Maudie Schmitt, Justin Tennant
Absent: Lioneld Jordan, Brandon Karn

Monthly HMR collections up

HMR tax collections were up $12,901 (7.74%) from the same month last year. Total collections reported in January 2011 were $179,546.

This is also a 4.6 percent increase over December reports which showed total collections of $171,511.

Overdue HMR tax collections

According to City Attorney Kit Williams, there were 22 active HMR prosecution cases in January 2011. The City Prosecutor’s Office collected $4,841.66 in overdue HMR taxes and was able to close five cases after full payment was made.

Commission to formally oppose Senate Bill 212

Sponsored by Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, SB212 would require a renewal vote on hospitality taxes, including Fayetteville’s HMR collections, every four years.

A discussion about the bill was brought up by Kit Williams.

“I just felt like since you’re the A&P Commission and this money is coming in for you all, you should know that particular situation,” Williams told the commissioners.

A&P Director Marilyn Heifner recommended that the commission immediately take opposition while it’s still in the committee stage.

“With the speed that the Senate operates now, if it comes out of committee, it’s pretty much on a fast train to the House,” said Heifner.

After a motion by commissioner Bob Davis, the group voted to actively oppose the bill.

Restaurant Week entry jar

Restaurant Week

Communications Manager Jessica Leonard discussed Restaurant Week, which begins Thursday, Feb. 17 and runs through the 27th.

The twice-yearly campaign is designed to promote dining out and awareness of Fayetteville’s restaurants.

Leonard said this week’s campaign will include a giveaway that will award Barnes and Noble Nook e-readers to five randomly drawn winners who enter after eating in Fayetteville restaurants.

Visitors Bureau employees will place Restaurant Week entry jars in local restaurants to collect the entries during the promotion.

Town Center to receive new carpet and paint

At the request of Marilyn Heifner, the commission agreed to authorize staff to go out for bids on new carpet for the entire Town Center facility as well as some interior paint.

The Town Center hosts over 200 events each year and can be rented for weddings, business meetings, or other social events.

Heifner said she expects the carpet bids to be around $80,000 and the paint bids to be about $20,000.

“It’s time for us to kind of refresh the place,” said Heifner.

The facelift would be the first major update to the Town Center since it opened in July 2001.

Full agenda packet

About the A&P Commission

The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission determines the use of the city’s advertising and promotion funds. The funds come from the 2% tax on purchases made at Fayetteville’s hotels, motels and restaurants (HMR).

State law requires the A&P Commission to be made up of four hotel, motel or restaurant owners/managers, two City Council members, and one member from the public at-large.

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