I would like to clarify comments made in the Jan. 27 issue of the Kingman Daily Miner by reporters Nicholas Wilbur and Andraya Whitney.
For anyone who feels the need to read ridiculous columns by these reporters (I know there must be a few of you left as I got calls from some informing me of the comments in this column), I would like to set the story right for our Chamber of Commerce Members, the candidates running for city offices and the community. We do not and never have used tax dollars to throw parties for the elite business owners of this town.
Yes, the city of Kingman and the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce enter into a contract each year to promote tourism in Kingman with bed tax dollars. This contract includes staffing the visitor center - which is open nine hours a day, seven days a week with only five days a year being closed for holidays - and related costs.
The contract includes promoting Kingman through the printing and distribution of brochures and publications about Kingman, attending tour operator and trade shows to promote Kingman, promoting our local events to invite out of town visitors, and purchasing ads in other areas of the country to let them know what Kingman has to offer. None of these dollars are used directly toward the chamber membership. Indirectly, the entire community benefits through the dollars spent by travelers and tourists to Kingman.
It is not unusual for cities to help fund tourism in their communities. Some fund through a contract with the chamber as we do or, if a community has a visitor and convention bureau, it may go through that group - as is the case in Lake Havasu.
Chambers of Commerce are always cautioned and educated about entering into contracts with their cities due to a sudden change in city leadership and economics. The rule of thumb is making sure that if the city contract is severed, your Chamber is not affected in anyway.
The Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce has ensured its stability by have two totally different budgets. All of the tourism funding is accounted for in separate accounts from the funds received for membership, special events and programs put on by the chamber.
If for any reason, the city chooses not to fund tourism through the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce, the chamber will function with no concerns. The only concern would be, does the city want to go into the tourism business and take care of the thousands of tourist we see and talk to each year, or is there another organization that can do it for our community.
I know the Miner editorial staff likes to poke fun at the expense of government and other public service entities. But when truth and correct information are not a part of the fun, the joke isn't all that humorous.
Beverly J. Liles, president/CEO
Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce