A major component to municipalities promoting tourism lies in a city’s hotel occupancy tax, which by law must be used to promote tourism and, as a common saying goes, “put heads in beds” at local hotels and motels.
Bee Cave has a hotel tax fund balance of $2.12 million, according to Finance Manager Brenda Galindo, and as of June 25 during a regular meeting, City Council has allocated $40,000 from that to the Lake Travis Film Festival.
During that same June 25 meeting, council endorsed and will pursue an idea from the Bee Cave Chamber of Commerce and local hotel owner Adrian Overstreet to create a nonprofit corporation called the Bee Cave Convention and Visitor Bureau, or BCCV, which will help manage the city’s hotel occupancy tax fund.
The next action for that plan could occur in August, according to Mayor Monty Parker.
Lakeway’s current hotel tax fund is more than double Bee Cave’s, sitting at $5.16 million, and so far in 2019 City Council has granted $110,000, including $40,000 to the Lake Travis Film Festival in May.
But plans for Lakeway’s hotel tax fund are not as far along as they are in Bee Cave.
During a June 24 special meeting several council members said the best idea might be to wait for the issuance of Lakeway’s official comprehensive plan, which is due for completion in December, before making any concrete plans.
Council Member Louis Mastrangelo has remained enthusiastic about formulating an official plan.
“I would like to see us hire an event planner, [a hotel tax]funds coordinator and an administrator. By the laws of the state, we are allowed to pay those employees from this fund,” Mastrangelo said in mid-June.