FARMINGTON — Davis County will spend more than $1.1 million in 2010 with two agencies dedicated to increasing tourism in the county.
Davis County commissioners recently renewed contracts with the Davis Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Western States Lodging.
The bureau is charged with marketing Davis County to convention groups, and the county contracts with Western States Lodging to run the Davis Conference Center.
Both have multi-year contracts, but for 2010, the bureau will receive $811,000, and Western States Lodging will receive $330,000.
Funding for each contract comes from taxes on tourism-related activities in Davis County: restaurant meals, hotel stays and vehicle rentals. Those taxes go into a tourism fund, which is used to drive tourism and economic activity in the county.
Commissioner Louenda Downs called the contracts an investment, and county officials expect to see a return on that investment.
Barbara Riddle, the bureau's president and chief executive officer, said her group is responsible for booking 16,500 room nights in Davis County by Nov. 30.
"That represents a $5 million impact," Riddle said.
When travellers stay in local hotel rooms, they spend money at restaurants and other locations.
That was the theory behind the commissioners' drive to build the Davis Conference Center in 2004 and an adjoining exhibit hall in 2008.
The conference center hosts about 700 events a year, said Scott Lunt, general manager.
"I'm not shy about saying that money is being spent very, very well in Davis County," Downs said.
But, Downs added, the county is pushing both groups to continue to bring more people to the county.
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