Bureau Needs More Money to Keep Up with Tourism Interest
Minor, Ray, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Ray Minor Daily Herald Staff Writer
Bringing tourists to Naperville has become big business.
So big, that the Naperville Visitors Bureau needs more money to keep up with the growing number of trip inquiries.
More groups and families are asking about Naperville hotels, restaurants, shops and other attractions, officials said. In the past year, the visitors bureau has mailed nearly 35,000 visitors guides to prospective vacationers.
That's putting too much strain on the bureau's $194,000 budget, said Cindy Pepple, director of the bureau, which is an arm of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. The group is seeking an increase in the amount of money it receives from the city's tax on local hotels and motels.
"It is a direct result of the marketing of Naperville that we have been doing," Pepple told city council members at a Thursday budget workshop. "We've seen phenomenal interest."
The group is asking the council to increase the amount of money it sends the bureau. The additional money will be used to partially fund a proposed visitors kiosk on the Riverwalk, increase a part-time assistant to full-time and print an updated visitors guide with listings for new hotels and restaurants.
The bureau receives almost all of its money from a city tax on local hotels. For three years, the bureau has received nearly 25 percent of the 3.6 percent tax rate charged on every hotel room.
But to keep pace with the growing number of requests, the bureau asked the percentage be increased to 30 percent, bringing in an estimated $250,000 to the organization. …