The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Local news

November 20, 2012

Norman considers hotel/motel tax increase vote

NORMAN — Norman City Council members did not reach a consensus at Tuesday’s finance meeting over whether the time is right to ask voters to approve an increase in the hotel/motel room tax. Hoteliers at the meeting said they would support a small increase but ask that those dollars work to promote tourism in Norman.

Under discussion was the funding of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is funded below the regional average.

“Our budget is below Stillwater,” said NCVB Executive Director Stephen Koranda, who told the finance committee that Norman’s CVB is the lowest funded of the Big 12.

“That daily hurts our efforts in trying to keep market share, much less get more market share,” Koranda said.

That doesn’t mean he believes a guest tax increase needs to come immediately. In fact, he thinks it may be better to hold off for a while on that increase. In the meantime, he’d like the city to look into alternative forms of tourism funding. He said Woodward is looking at the possibility of a Tourism Improvement District, a public-private partnership mechanism popular in California.

Tourism Improvement Districts have spread up the coast and into Texas. Officials in Woodward believe Oklahoma law will allow for the districts. If the state has the legislation, cities can look at whether that funding mechanism would be right for their locations.

Norman Arts Council Executive Director Erinn Gavaghan said money from the room tax is key to funding public art in the city.

“Norman is really looked up to as an excellent art community,” Gavaghan said. “We excel with a very limited amount of funds.”

The current room tax in Norman is divided between the convention and visitors bureau (which gets 50 percent of the money), the arts (which gets 25 percent) and parks (which gets 25 percent). In many cities, all of the money from city hotel/motel tax goes to tourism promotion.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Chamber welcomes new members

    The Norman Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all our sales volunteers and welcome our new Chamber members from our recent spring membership drive.  Suzanne McAuley was this year’s membership drive chair....

    April 20, 2014

  • It’s easier than ever to be your own movie producer

    Things have certainly come a long way since 1988, when the first stand-alone audio CD recorders outside of CD manufacturing plants started showing up. At that time, do-it-yourself CDs were the province of the rich and famous, as the ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014