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Tombstone having tough time as shutdown bites tourism (April 3, 2020)

The comments below are in response to the Sierra Vista Herald's Article -
Tombstone having tough time as shutdown bites tourism

Please read the article and my comments below. Tourism is admittedly our main (and only) industry....so what if we don’t take care of it?

Do you remember the number $1,114,582.02? That represented the amount of taxes that were collected and paid to the City of Tombstone during the 2017-18 fiscal year. Do you realize that typically the busiest months for Sales Tax and Bed Tax Collection are Feb-April and October? Do you recall our August annual meeting where we discussed the fact that since July 1, 2019, to my knowledge, there has been no formal, cohesive Marketing Plan in place and since then, only minimal formal advertising purchased?

Fast forward to today, April 4, 2020, almost 9 months have passed with little to no promotional exposure for our town or individual businesses (other than the Chamber) …and to compound this issue, there will be a HUGE gap in sales & bed tax collection from the effects of the shutdown of virtually the entire town and the hundreds of cancelations of hotel rooms, with no end in sight…Even with the city’s newly started social media program it’ll take YEARS, if ever, to get the exposure for the town much less the individual business the Chamber had....

Over the years we’ve spoken about consistency, messaging and brand, and although we all know that Tombstone is a city with a strong brand, it’s a brand we must protect… Brand that cannot be taken for granted…

As we move forward into the unknown business environment and community devastation left behind the COVID-19 situation, we hope that you realize that Independently, your Tombstone Chamber Board, thru the renewal of the agreement with Wowsers Web Design has kept the Facebooks and websites, along with the Chamber office phone and mailers active and continuously providing timely and correct resources and information for the business and community....All the while fielding hundreds, if not thousands of contacts with potential visitors to promote not only Tombstone but the individual business…

I mention this because this because routinely many of our emails and posts go unsupported in likes or comments....as if the daily efforts of the chamber did not exist or even matter at all....

The lack of a Marketing Program for these last 9 months should have been real concern for not only the businesses but the community at large as the majority of our public funding comes from our main industry, tourism…now we face the prospects of months without bed tax or sales tax income...so my question is: What, if any, plan does the city have to offer assistance to us business and non-profit groups who regularly on daily, weekly, monthly basis support the city?

Over the last few years, since I reported the theft at the Chamber I have reached out to the Mayor and City Council to try to offer a renewed partnership and assistance, with little to no response....This has put the Chamber financially and it’s ability to assist in dire straights....We ourselves (Chamber/Business/non-profit) cannot implement anything at the city level and it seems that we have little no influence on local issues, we are not the decision makers... At this time we can only continue to support the Chamber thru our memberships and limited actions so we can get out the Tombstone message....Other than that, how do we influence others and positively effect our community besides joining random FB groups and complaining to whoever will listen? You all should understand how sales & bed tax is collected distributed so above and beyond those monies (some of which) should still be available, what resources and funding are or will be available? Any ideas?

~Susan

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