Small Town Feel With A Heart As Big As Texas

Love Civic Center Proposal – Community Awareness

February 13, 2019

The Love Civic Center is a 25-year-old building that has hosted an estimated 35,000 visitors in 2018 alone. The Love Civic Center is a key element in attracting new and repeat (or continuing) events to Paris. The Love Civic Center serves as a venue for 15 or more events a year that encourage out of town guests to visit, stay and eat in Paris. The facility is used in multiple ways in serving our community.

To keep the Love Civic Center as a viable venue for future events that bring important tourist dollars to Paris, it need to be updated and remodeled.

The Love Civic Center Board and the Chamber of Commerce Board are asking for community support in voting YES for a two-cent increase in the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT). The current rate is now at seven-cents.

The two-cent increase would go directly and solely to repay a bond needed to fund the important updates to the Civic Center. The projected time-frame for the bond payoff is 10-years, funded by an estimated $189,000 annual increase in HOT dollars.

The State of Texas has very specific and limited ways in which Hotel Occupancy Tax money can spent. The Hotel Occupancy Tax is collected when guests stay at our hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. The majority of these guests are from out-of-town and not local citizens.

All Hotel Occupancy Tax must be spent in specific ways intended to return business to the hotels thus generating HOT.

In support of the Love Civic Center, the Visitors and Convention Council looks for and promotes events to put heads in beds. This helps generate HOT and provides other benefits to the community from out of town dollars spent in our community. Collecting addition HOT from out-of-town guests will help the Love Civic Center to be able to pay for the much-needed update to the Love Civic Center with little or no financial impact on our local taxpayers.

Local hotel owner, Mihir “Mark” Pankaj said, “As a representative for all the hotels and motels in this community, I support the initiative to increase hotel occupy tax by 2% and believe this is the opportunity for us to be able to grow and attract bigger events to Paris.”

Pankaj, who owns Days Inn and Hampton Inn in Paris, said each and every hotel owner and hotel managers meet every quarter to discuss various events that come to our city and they coordinate with one another to make sure they provide the best customer service and hospitality to the guests that visit Paris.

“We all sat down at the end of December 2018 with Paul Allen and Beck Semple as they explained this initiative to increase the hotel occupancy tax by 2% and we all decided that this would be an increase for the greater good.”

Last modified: February 13, 2019

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