Commission reviews applications for room-tax funding

Applications for nearly $300,000 from 12 groups were reviewed for Kingman city room tax funding Thursday.

Room tax revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30 could set a record of $220,000, according to the Economic and Tourism Development Commission, which makes recommendations to the Kingman City Council on projects that will increase tourism.

A request for $175,000 was submitted by the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee, about the same the chamber received this fiscal year.

Tourism director Kristi Lee said she expects some reduction in state funding for advertising and that the chamber's budget for advertising will be less as a result.

The chamber's room-tax request covers operation of the Powerhouse Visitor Center, promotion activities, mailings and a Web site and salaries.

Many volunteers help staff the visitor center.

Lee separated the budget for operation of the Route 66 Museum located in the Powerhouse.

The chamber took over the operation last year as responsibilities shifted from the Powerhouse Gang that renovated the building.

The city has accepted the deed for the Powerhouse and contracted with the chamber for day-to-day operations.

The Route 66 Museum has $39,700 expenses with admissions and donations of $17,500.

The expenses are for a full-time director, utilities, advertising and operations.

The Kingman Airport Authority requested $44,000 in room-tax funds for area economic development activities.

The chamber and airport regularly have been funded by the city at levels recommended by tourism commission members.

Another $44,000 has been budget for the Kingman Airport Authority for economic development from the city's general fund.

The Economic and Tourism Development Commission is considering 10 other applications.

The commission has a policy of providing money to get projects off the ground and asks applicants to show how the will become self-funding over time.

The Kingman Army Airfield Historical Society asked for $7,500 for an evaluation of Hangar E for rehabilitation by historical architect Bill Otwell and Associates.

The funding would help the group go forward with grant applications for restoration funds.

Bob Feagins, a member of the society board, told the commission the museum is being built within the hangar as volunteers restore space.

"The roof needs major repair and other major work beyond the scope of volunteers is needed," Feagins said.

"We are attracting visitors and being written up in newsletters around the world."

The Kingsmen requested $4,000 for advertising the Andy Devine Days Rodeo.

Kingsmen President Tom Carter said several new approaches are in the works for increasing attendance.

A western theme for businesses in Kingman for the week is planned, as are events sponsored by the Swanty Dodge dealership, a street dance and a return-to-school events.

"The Kingsmen see the rodeo and parade during Andy Devine Days as a western heritage event that celebrates the roots of the city," Carter said.

"We believe the city ought to be involved through the ETDC."

The other eight applications are under review and some groups will be invited to the April meeting for presentations, commission chairman Tom Spear said.

The eight are: the Arizona Junior Rodeo Association, $5,000; Crazyhorse Stables, $1,645; Kingman air show, $5,000; Kingman Dolphin Swim Team, $2,500; Over the Edge Events Marathon at Peach Springs; Round Table Round Up TV Show, $5,000; Kingman Downtown Merchants antique and crafts show, $5,000; and Downtown Route 66 Initiatives for the next budget year.