Friday, July 8, 2011

SV shouldn’t clip marketing

Just before our remote Sun Valley area began to get a little national and international exposure courtesy of the Allen & Co. confab, members of the Sun Valley City Council piped up to say that it will look at reducing the area's marketing budget.

Businesses that collect the local sales tax that goes to fund marketing should be aghast, especially given what transpired little more than a year ago when the mayor and council discarded the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau, formed the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance and handpicked directors for its board. The change was their expression of dismay with the way the chamber had operated, and the council promised better performance from the new alliance and significantly better funding to ensure it could fulfill that promise.

Understandably, it took the alliance, which had to sort out the wreckage and remake the marketing wheel, 10 months to get its feet on the ground. Just last week, it announced that it has hired its first full-time marketing director, who will bring lots of experience from Whistler, B.C.

Yet, on the table is a 20 percent cut in the city's share of marketing funds. Last year the city shared the marketing burden equally with Ketchum. Each allocated $425,000. The timing and amount of the proposed reduction make no sense.

Revenue from local sales taxes collected by Sun Valley businesses is on track to meet the previous year's level. Given what happened with the national economy and the ongoing uncertainty, that's success, not a reason for reductions.

The alliance needs a reasonable chance to succeed. The city of Sun Valley shouldn't clip its wings when it's barely gotten off the ground.

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