Follow On to SV Herald’s April 3rd Article (this post dtd April 6, 2020)


This was in follow up to the April 3, 2020 Sierra Vista Herald's Article.  This was originally posted in the Tombstone Chamber Members Only Group.

Thank you for the thoughtful comments to yesterday’s post; let’s look further at some of the input:

1. We all want the same results...
  • What specific results does everyone want to see?
2. We need find a way to work together better/more effectively.
  • We are not an attraction like Old Tucson. Each individual business and person give what they can (some don’t unfortunately)....in most cases, that seems to fall short of expectations.
  • The City has had little to no involvement other than the approval or denial of events and I’ve heard they give a little money out (but there’s no process for fairness or accountability in that) I’m not even sure it’s a good idea to have government overly involved in a private process....
  • The Chamber has provided daily information and promoted not for the individual businesses and community but both large & small events and local happenings ...
  • So what does working together better/more effectively look like?
3. People don’t really understand bed & sales taxes...perhaps that’s why no one asks how much money there is and how the money is spent....other than the Chambers accountability reports, of course...
  • How do we get people to understand bed & sales tax and how it’s supposed to be used?
  • Let’s add Boothill to the mix. How much money was produced from Boothill and how much money will be designated to marketing and promotions of Tombstone?
4. Supporting existing events is a great place to start... with new events to follow....Three big needs: Money, Manpower & Marketing ...
  1. MONEY: Generally an event is self funded…However if some public money was available how much money is there? What rules would have to be followed to spend public money? How would money get distributed? How would the event or expense be measured for success?
    1. For example: The Chamber always had to submit to the city council a pre-approval for the budget along with a recommendation for advertising contracts. Stating for example: What was the Marketing budget? What contracts will constitute a marketing plan? What’s the oversight and accountability?
  2. MANPOWER: If the City hires an Event Organizer who will be the manpower to produce and event? Would that mean an event staff?
    1. Manpower for events is usually a part of the event budget. It takes people months and months to create, produce and execute a successful event. The events done by our non-profits use volunteer manpower and have longevity to go on over the years no matter who is in charge the message is constant.
  3. MARKETING: Marketing is effective that’s why companies invest money into their programs. For example: Coca-Cola has made a yearly commitment to large ad spends. In 2018, the beverage manufacturer spent an incredible $5.8 billion on global advertising and marketing, or 18.3% of revenue in FY 2018, up slightly from $4 billion in 2017.
    1. Now the City has independently taken over as the Marketing arm of Tombstone; who exactly will be in charge of promoting big (Helldorado) and small events (Quilt Show) and local happenings (Gun Fights/Parking/Animal Shelter/Job Openings/Hotel Occupancy)? Not to mention the daily Q & A that goes on…Seems like the website, Facebook and Instagram are being managed separately (Side question: Were there job openings/descriptions/pay etc. publicly posted?)
    2. So exactly who and how will the volumes of information visitors need get disseminated? Frequently Asked Questions are only the beginning of providing information…Who exactly will be fielding the daily questions that come in via email, PM and telephone?

These some of the many questions about public funds that should be asked and be answered.

I’m not sure what the reason is that everyone goes round and round about the topic of bed tax or specifics of city expenditures. Is because they just don’t realize/know what to ask or how to obtain an answer. Or is it they are afraid? It’s not personal, it’s public (or it’s supposed to be) For example, the fact is that even before this current city council, since 1997 in fact, half of the bed tax money has remained with the city...Has anyone ever seen or is aware of any marketing plan or accounting of expenditures?

Let’s not pretend that individuals and groups don’t speak to who they know to try to get funds and help....and/or people schedule a meeting with whoever is the mayor at the time to try to obtain funds or favor. Generally it’s survival of the fittest and people/groups do their thing, then turn a blind eye to the next thing or event....TOGETHER we’d be ONE larger voice to get real reform and assistance...but geez, if everyone keeps speaking the same mantra nothing will ever get better.

Our town has too much at stake to allow random people to play at marketing professional or city event organizer. The Marketing of Tombstone alone is more responsibility than just putting up a website, Facebook page and Instagram or buying a piece of advertising or creating an event. And if we can keep the Chamber open to answer questions via Chamber avenues, we will not be the direct link for information for tourists because it won’t be the Chambers email or phone number the city will put out to the public as the official point of contact.

In closing - can anyone answer these questions:

  1. What specific results does everyone want to see?
  2. So what does working together better/more effectively look like?
  3. How do we get people to understand bed & sales tax and how it’s supposed to be used?
  4. Now that the City has taken over as the Marketing arm of Tombstone, who exactly will be in charge of promoting big and small events?
  5. What’s the City of Tombstone's Marketing budget? How will that budget be spent?
  6. If the City were to hire Event Organizer how much of the budget would that encumber and who will be the manpower to produce and event?
  7. What contracts will constitute a marketing plan?
  8. What’s the oversight and accountability?
  9. Who exactly will be fielding the daily questions that come in via email, PM and telephone? How will the volumes of information visitors need get disseminated?
  10. Is anyone ever seen or is aware of any marketing plan or accounting of expenditures for bed tax?
  11. How much money was produced from Boothill (gross). What was the net income? How much money will be designated to marketing and promotions of Tombstone
Thank you again for your consideration.
~Susan