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Hospitality dollars up

Jamestown visitors helped boost the 2017 first quarter lodging and restaurant tax dollars, according to Searle Swedlund, executive director of Jamestown Tourism.

Jamestown visitors helped boost the 2017 first quarter lodging and restaurant tax dollars, according to Searle Swedlund, executive director of Jamestown Tourism.

The North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner reported first quarter hotel-motel lodging tax dollars for Jamestown totaled $35,503, and restaurant tax dollars totaled $85,869. Jamestown has a 2 percent tax while the state has a 5 percent tax on lodging and restaurants.

The tax dollars are on target for the Jamestown Tourism budget, Swedlund said. The budget is based on the 2014 tax dollars plus 5 percent, he said.

“February is better than a lot of people thought it would be,” he said. “The sports tournaments brought in a lot of people.”

In his report Monday to the Jamestown Tourism Board, Swedlund said the 2017 grant allocations have $62,684 remaining out of the $150,000 budget. There are presently $87,316 committed funds to 10 projects with an estimated 12 projects anticipated to request funds remaining.

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The Tourism Board discussed three potential “feed the buffalo” receptacles that would be placed near the World’s Largest Buffalo, in Frontier Village or at other locations around Jamestown to help fund an eventual restoration project of the World’s Largest Buffalo statue.

The statue made of plaster and concrete was built on a steel frame in 1959 by Elmer Petersen. The 46-foot-long by 26-foot-high statue was given its 10th layer of paint last fall for $8,500. A report from Interstate Engineering recommended stripping all paint from the statue and conducting repairs to heat-damaged surfaces.

The World’s Largest Buffalo will need to be painted again in seven to 10 years, Swedlund said. It is not known yet what the cost for removing the layers of paint and for repairs, which is why the fundraising must start now, he said.

The Tourism Board was asked to consider feedback and concerns about four possible bison receptacle ideas to donate money to that would also provide a positive visitor experience. The receptacle should be creative and interactive, motivating and stand up to weather and use, Swedlund said.

The rough concepts were drawn up by JP Cozby III of Replum Media, according to Swedlund.

The Tourism Board liked two of the concepts. One would be a low-tech metal structure shaped like a bison to insert bills or coins in the mouth. Board members said they would research the possibilities of creating an interactive structure in the shape of a buffalo that would entertain with moving wheels and gears before dropping a keepsake token from under the tail.

Board members said the goal was to balance the investment with the likelihood of collecting donations to offset costs and fund the statue maintenance in 10-year-intervals. The secondary goal was to attract multiple visits.

The Tourism Board members dismissed concepts involving a 3-D printer and another that uses a multimedia projector as technically difficult and not practical for the weather.

Related Topics: TOURISM
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