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7:56 AM Sun, Jan. 20th

ETDC: Tourism rises in Kingman

Tourism increased in Kingman in the fiscal year ending June 30, according to room tax revenue reports presented to the Economic and Tourism Development Commission Thursday.

Local tourism growth is in contrast to a statewide slowdown reported by state tourism officials Wednesday.

Mark McDermott, executive director of the state tourism industry, predicts a one percent increase in 2002.

Nationally, figures were down for the first five months of the year according to the Travel Industry Association of America.

The 9.7 percent increase of $18,977 in room tax revenue continues the 2000 up trend of 8.3 percent and $15,029.

The total revenue of $214,627 is exceeded only by the $219,933 collected in 1995-96.

Revenues had dipped since then to a low of $180,621.

The room revenue tax is from a two percent state tax of room rentals at motels and hotels.

Kingman uses the funds to increase tourism and ETDC recommends projects for funding to the city council.

The 2001-2 city budget includes $128,000 for the Chamber of Commerce tourism activity, including keeping the Powerhouse Visitor Center open.

Kingman 2005, the city's economic development arm, receives $44,000 from the room tax revenue.

Local groups applying for support of activities that bring people into Kingman included in the new budget are: the Kingman Downtown Merchants for advertising the June antique fair, $5,000; the Kingsmen for Andy Devine Days, $5,000; Kingman Air Show for advertising outside the area, $5,000; and the Army Airfield Historical Society and Museum, $3,000.

The ETDC approved new agreements with the city removing the requirement that a tourism director and Kingman 2005 director be employed to receive continued funding, Both positions were open for a time in the past year and activities continued during the search for new staff.

Also at Thursday's ETDC meeting, Kingman 2005 Chairman Tom Carter gave a quarterly report on the CanaMex corridor and the positive effect on business recruitment to the area.

Kingman has been designated a development node rather than another stop on the route from Mexico to Canada.

He said the decision for the site for the bridge across the Colorado River about a mile below Hoover Dam has been made and the design started.

Completion of the bridge will bring Kingman even closer to Las Vegas business activity and increase CanaMex traffic.