The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission held its first meeting of 2011 at 2 p.m. yesterday inside the Town Center on the downtown square.
Here’s a roundup of highlights from the group’s monthly meeting for January 2011:
Welcome Justin Tennant
Commission chair Maudie Schmitt began the meeting by welcoming the commission’s newest member, Justin Tennant, who was recently elected to the Fayetteville City Council in place of outgoing Ward 3 Alderman Robert Rhoads. Tennant also takes Rhoads’ seat on the A&P Commission, as appointed by Mayor Lioneld Jordan, who returns to the commission in 2011 for another indefinite term.
“It’s a pleasure to be here,” Tennant told the members. “I look forward to it very much.”
Monthly HMR collections down
According to information provided by A&P Director Marilyn Heifner, HMR collections were down $3,057 (-1.75%) from the same month last year. Total collections reported in December 2010 were $171,511.04.
2010 total HMR funds up
Despite a slight monthly decrease, overall collections for 2010 were up $16,186 (+0.74%) from the previous year, thanks to a giant November report which saw an 11.84% increase over the same month last year.
Overdue HMR tax collections
According to City Attorney Kit Williams, the City Prosecutor’s Office collected $1,050.20 in overdue HMR taxes in December 2010. That brings the total amount of overdue collections in 2010 to $51,373.96.
Williams said the 2010 collections were about $20,000 less than 2009.
“We always want everybody just to pay their taxes so we don’t have to go collect anything, but we do make an effort to collect when we can,” said Williams. “It is, of course, a very difficult environment, sometimes. When you have a business that goes out of business, sometimes they leave the area.”
Gift shop sales up
Sales in the Clinton House Museum gift shop and in the Visitor Center on the square have increased dramatically, said Heifner. The Clinton House Museum shop saw its largest week to date the second week of December with over $300 in sales.
Sales in the Visitor Center were up $10,686 (+57%) over last year. Total 2010 sales were $29,334.44.
Heifner attributed the increase partly to a new Facebook campaign spearheaded by Communications Manager Jessica Leonard, who has been highlighting individual items for sale at each location. Heifner said spillover from traffic at Riffraff, a boutique located next door to the Visitor Center, has also helped sales.
New commissioner needed
The commission will soon be seeking a new member. Jose’s Mexican Restaurant owner Neil Crawford will leave the group when his term ends in April. Expect to see his position listed in the Q1 2011 board and committee openings.
– Find it in Fayetteville campaign Habitotes are coming soon
– Restaurant Week is Feb. 17-27
– A new banner which advertises Fayetteville is in the works for Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA)
– The commission plans to experiment with electronic meeting agendas next month instead of paper
About the A&P Commission
The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission determines the use of the city’s advertising and promotion funds. The funds come from the 2% tax on purchases made at Fayetteville’s hotels, motels and restaurants (HMR).
State law requires the A&P Commission to be made up of four hotel, motel or restaurant owners/managers, two City Council members, and one member from the public at-large.