With the Semiahmoo Resort back up and running, the Blaine Tourism Advisory Committee (BTAC) is anticipating that lodging tax revenue from the hotel’s operations will once again be available for the city’s tourism program. In light of this, the committee has begun meeting to prepare budget recommendations to be included in the city’s 2014 budget, which will be approved at the city council meeting on Monday, December 9.
BTAC’s lodging tax revenue forecast is a cautious one, however, since the resort, which provides close to 90 percent of the city’s total lodging tax revenue, will be slow to recover to its previous revenue levels due to plans for major renovations at the resort. The resort will remain open during the renovations, which are scheduled to begin in January and extend through the spring, however management is anticipating slightly lower occupancy levels until the renovations are completed. A grand reopening of the resort is projected for May 2014.
BTAC’s recommendations include funding to keep the Blaine Visitor Information Center open as well as providing for a paid part-time staff position. BTAC is also recommending the allocation of up to $65,000 in grants to fund tourism programs and events.
Grant applications will be received in early January.
The next BTAC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12 in the Blaine City Council chambers at 8:30 a.m., and is open to the public.
If you have questions about the 2014 budget recommendations or the upcoming grant application process, please contact Debbie Harger at 360/543-9982.