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Manteca may give CVB $135K for tourism
CVB1 8-17-15
The Manteca Convention & Visitors Center at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

Most hotel guests in Manteca stay for a night either on their way to somewhere else or to participate in a softball game at Big League Dreams.

The Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau wants to change that.

The non-profit agency charged with filling the city’s 384 tier one hotel rooms is proposing three new areas of focus as part of its efforts to secure $135,630 of Manteca’s room taxes to pay for operations and promotions. The visitors’ center is located at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, Union Road and the 120 Bypass

Those efforts are:

uBRING IT HOME: A promotion effort focusing on local clubs and organizations.

uPLUS 1 PROGRAM: An undertaking working with hotel operators to market and promote extended stays.

uLOCATION, LOCATION & VACATION PROGRAM: A proposal to purse the film and commercial industry to use locations in and around Manteca.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider approving the contact for the current year that ends on June 30, 2016. The council meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The $135,630 represents 20 percent of the most recent audited transit occupancy tax. The number reflects 2014-15 when the 9 percent room tax generated $678,153 for the city.

The city has contracted with the CVB for the past 12 years to provide travel and tourism services to fill hotel rooms and increase spending at local venues.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted that over the years the CVB services have evolved with less focus on specific events  and more attention paid to promoting regional tourism.

Mayor Steve DeBrum and staff have pushed for a more tangible contract that gives the city something to measure the CVB’s performance. DeBrum is a former CVB board member.

The proposed contract includes a requirement that the CVB obtain an independent auditor to go over the agency’s last three fiscal years to make sure the city is still benefiting from the partnership.

The CVB — upon approval of the contact — will receive 50 percent of the funding with the rest of the payment contingent upon the city’s review and acceptance of the audit.

In a letter to the council, CVB Chairman Jack Snyder noted that in 2014 California visitors and travelers spent $117.5 billion to provide $9.3 billion in state and local tax revenue. San Joaquin County received $710 million in 2014 resulting in a bump for Manteca of $80,000 alone in room taxes collected.

“The unique nature of our city extends beyond our central location, close proximity to the Bay Area, Sacramento, and iconic national parks,” Snyder wrote. “We offer lower priced gas, food, products, and services than the Bay Area or foothill cities. Our attractions are one-of-a-kind: Big League Dreams, Spreckels Park BMX and, soon, the Great Wolf Resort.”

The Bring it Home Program will encourage organizations to bring group functions to Manteca with the CVB helping with site selection, planning and other assistance. Statistics show groups stay longer in a community and spend more money than families and/or individuals.

The Location, Location, Vacation effort would go after scouts to try and entice them to produce movies and commercials in and around Manteca. It would include creating more apps and hosting familiarization tours for directors and others on demand. The CVB also plans to stage a premiere event for the private viewing of Manteca made movies and commercials at the local AMC Theaters.

The Plus 1 program would help plan itineraries for visitors to multiple popular locations such as Yosemite National Park using Manteca hotels as their base. The CVB would also conduct a survey of hotel guests to find out about their Manteca experiences as well as provide incentives to hotel guests for lodging, dining, and shopping form local, merchants.

In addition the CVB website will feature concierge travel information for residents and guests who can obtain their requested information by email, calling or stopping by the CVB office. They would include — but not be limited to — scheduling sightseeing tours and shopping directions, providing directions to local attractions as well as events and hotels, help plan everything from corporate meetings and parties to family reunions in Manteca, and help bring more groups to Manteca.

The CVB is also working toward the opening of a Yosemite and Highway 120 Visitors Center as part of their current operation this fall.