To the Editor:
The Stratford Promotion Committee received a hotel/motel tax grant a few years ago to help us update and reprint our community brochure. We use the brochure to promote our local businesses as well as the entertainment and recreation opportunities in the surrounding area. We sent it out to 20 welcome centers across the state, hand it out at trade shows and mail it to about 1,000 people each year. As a result, we have had more phone calls, more website hits and more visitors to Stratford. While we don't have the ability to track how many of those visitors stayed in a hotel, we are sure that they did.
Without grant funds from the hotel/motel tax, we would not have been able to print the brochure. We're just a little committee of volunteers trying to make Stratford a better place. We think it's pretty neat and our visitors tell us they think so, too. The S.E.E.D. office helps us distribute brochures and promote our shops and attractions through advertising and marketing that is paid in part by hotel/motel tax as well.
The hotel/motel tax in the rural areas of Hamilton County will sunset at the end of 2012; the issue will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. This tax is only 5 percent and is paid by people who stay in the hotels, bed and breakfast or Briggs Woods cabins - not by Hamilton County people.
Renew the hotel/motel tax to help Hamilton County businesses and continue to improve tourism in Central Iowa. I hope you vote "yes"?on Nov. 6