CAPC allocates $20,000 for Christmas decorations in 2019 budget

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

If the Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission has anything to say about it, the city will look beautiful every holiday season.

The commission agreed on Wednesday, Dec. 12, to allocate $20,000 for Christmas decorations in the 2019 budget. Chairwoman Susan Harman brought the topic to the table, saying it's important to her for the city to welcome visitors during the holidays. Commissioner Carol Wright said she's heard a lot of good things about this year's decorations, and commissioner Greg Moon agreed.

"It looks fantastic," Moon said. "The whole town does."

Wright asked if the commission needed to allocate $20,000 for next year's decorations, and Harman said that's how much the commission spent on decorations this year. CAPC director Mike Maloney said Christmas decorations aren't cheap.

"If we're going to do shooting stars the things that go across pole to pole you're gobbling up $20,000 fast," Maloney said.

Commissioner Terry McClung asked where the decorations would be stored, and Maloney said storage fees can be part of the $20,000. It costs about $200 a month to store decorations, Maloney said.

"The tree has got to be protected, and so do the rest of the decorations," Maloney said. "We have the ornaments that go on the tree. Those are expensive."

Commissioner Bob Thomas asked why the CAPC is paying for Christmas decorations.

"We decided to buy Christmas decorations in an effort to promote the town for Christmas," Harman said. "In that way, we were able to still do it, because it is a promotion of Eureka Springs. It is an advertising/promotion thing."

"It's on the Holiday Trail of Lights," Maloney said.

New decorations are important, Harman said, because everything has a shelf life.

"The biggest issue right now is everything is old," Harman said. "We need to start to bolster that."

McClung moved to allocate $20,000 for Christmas decorations in the 2019 budget and the commission agreed to do so. McClung moved on to ask how events coordinator Andy Green is doing with his 2019 budget. Maloney said Green won't be with the CAPC for much longer.

"Andy has not renewed his contract for 2019," Maloney said. "He is working through mid-February. He will be in next week. His objective between now and the middle of January is to book every show possible."

Green's contract ends Feb. 15, Maloney said, and it will be tough to replace him.

"This is a difficult thing," Maloney said. "You have got to know the ropes, and Andy knows the people. He knows the agents."

Finance director Rick Bright said he just got word about another budget adjustment, saying the CAPC's liability insurance policy is no longer tied to The Auditorium's liability insurance policy. That's because the company the CAPC had been working with got bought out, Bright said, and the new company won't bundle the policies. Bright said the commission will need to budget $2,180 for The Auditorium's liability policy for 2019. That's on top of $733 for the CAPC's liability policy, Bright said, which has already been budgeted.

"There were only like four people who wanted to take on The Auditorium," Bright said. "This is actually less than the liability insurance I have on my B&B. This is a great deal. However, it's not budgeted."

Bright said the commission didn't need to make that budget adjustment immediately.

"Since I got this, I wanted to bring it to your attention for 2019," Bright said.

In other business, Maloney said he struck a deal with local photographer Richard Quick to purchase photos for the CAPC's website.

"We're going to pick up some really nice winter shots," Maloney said. "We had none. These are great shots with snow in them, and we've also got a couple of shots from the Christmas parade a couple weeks ago. Those are extraordinary pictures."

The CAPC will be purchasing up to eight photos every quarter, Maloney said.

"What we hope to do is be seasonal with those things," Maloney said.

Harman asked if Quick could team up with the CAPC's videographer to create promotional videos, and Maloney said there wouldn't be enough content to do that.

"If we have 25-30 photos, I can produce it in about an hour in-house," Maloney said. "We could do that. [Quick] would allow that, but we'd have to pay a premium. He charges $125 for a shot."

The commission's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at The Auditorium.

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