The City’s response to the Attorney General’s opinion was to craft a new Hotel Motel Ordinance. This ordinance was drafted by the City Attorney, and draws heavily on the State Ordinance. This is great for Nauvoo. The new ordinance serves as the marching orders for the new Hotel Motel Board, and by extension, the Tourism Director.
Of particular note is the clarification that all Hotel Motel Tax dollars are to be spent to build overnight stays within the municipal boundaries. And the further clarification that this means not soliciting new competition for existing businesses within the City.
“The City of Nauvoo must expend the hotel-motel use taxes it collects solely to promote tourism and conventions within the municipality or otherwise to attract nonresident overnight visitors to the municipality, but it cannot expend them to advertise for, or otherwise promote, new competition in the hotel business.” (Ordinance 2017-7, 2-2-1)
These simple statements require important changes to the City Website, and the removal of all properties outside the municipal boundaries of the City of Nauvoo. We reviewed the site (beautifulnauvoo.com) today and noticed that there are still five properties not located in the city limits, that are represented on the site. This is likely due to the fact that the new board has not met, and will have its first meeting on August 24, 2017. The new direction provided to the Tourism Director should resolve this conflict.
In addition, the only events promoted by the Tourism Director (who is paid with Hotel Motel funds) and the tourism website (which is also paid with Hotel Motel funds) must have a goal to increase overnight stays.
These improvements will bring focus and clarity to the efforts of the Board, and the Tourism Director. We applaud the efforts of the City Council to bring the City into compliance with state law.