CAPC approves marketing support request for Halloween City

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission is already looking forward to Halloween.

On Wednesday, May 9, the commission heard from director Mike Maloney about an $8,000 marketing support fund request for Halloween City. Maloney said the idea behind Halloween City is to market the city’s events in October.

“There’s a lot of different events that would be encompassed with this,” Maloney said. “Really, the whole fabric of Eureka Springs is turning into a destination with a lot of Halloween-type events. It crosses all demographics.”

The commission couldn’t spend $8,000 on the request, Maloney said, because there’s only around $7,000 left for the year. He proposed giving the event $4,000, saying its organizers are ecstatic about that amount. The commission voted, unanimously agreeing to spend $4,000 promoting Halloween City. Commissioner Terry McClung said he’s excited about it.

“This has some of the makings of May Festival of the Arts,” McClung said. “It’s got a good parade, very well attended. It’s just got a lot going for it, so it’s a good deal.”

Also at the meeting, Maloney addressed some changes to the way the commission handles marketing support fund requests. Marketing support funds will only be awarded three times a year, Maloney said, and applications must be submitted 120 days before the event. The approvals will take place at the commission’s regular meetings in February, April and August, Maloney said.

McClung said he’d like to reconsider the 120-day requirement, saying that shouldn’t necessarily apply to new events.

“If somebody comes up with an aha moment and says, ‘We need to try this,’ then we can base it on that,” McClung said. “But if it has a history, if it’s been done one or more times previously … it must be prior to 120 days, or they’re out.”

Commissioner Bobbie Foster asked why the commission will approve requests only three times a year, and Maloney said there are several reason for that. The commission receives many requests throughout the year, Maloney said, with each meeting including some kind of request each month. Under the new rules, he said, the commission would discuss requests at one meeting and approve them at the next.

“Only six meetings a month would be tied up with marketing support funding,” Maloney said.

Commissioner David Mitchell said he likes the plan.

“I think it causes people applying to be a little more efficient and proactive, to put their stuff in and be prepared that the rules are going to be followed,” Mitchell said.

Maloney said he plans to be completely transparent with the community about the changes.

“We will notify everyone who has applied for marketing support fund requests to let them know the new procedure,” Maloney said.

Finance director Rick Bright presented the financial report, saying the cash balance as of April 30 was $448,368.17. He listed tax collections remitted in April, from March collections. He said restaurants brought in $62,870, up $6,043 (10.6 percent). Total lodging collections were $54,878, up $3,419 (6.6 percent). These lodging collections include: $12,830 for hotels, up $622 (5.1 percent); $23,723 for motels, up $601 (2.6 percent); $4,497 for B&Bs, up $261 (6.2 percent); and $13,828 for cabins and cottages, up $1,935 (16.3 percent). Bright said the year-to-date lodging collections compared with 2017 are down $2,591 (1.9 percent) and the year-to-date restaurant collections compared with 2017 are up $10,558 (6.6 percent). The year-to-date total collections, he said, are up $7,974 (6.6 percent).

The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at The Auditorium.

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