SAN ANGELO, Texas- The Destination Marketing Organization represented by Diann Bayes requested slightly over one million dollars in the city council general fund budget workshop.
“The support is there, the vision is there, the businesses benefit and the citizens benefit, and the city of San Angelo benefits. The DMO meets and exceeds the city council’s own vision and mission statement,” said Bayes.
The council is currently looking to cut the DMO’s current budget of 965,00 down to 950,000 for the coming fiscal year.
“My question to you on the dais is, why is there talk of cutting the budget of the sole destination marketing organization for the city that markets for visitors to come to our community,” asked Bayes to city council members.
The DMO argues that they’ve had their hand in a various amount of ventures that has brought recognition to San Angelo.
“I love the folks at Art and Uncommon Places, but most of the magazines, and most of the things she (Julie Raymond: Founder of Art in Uncommon Places) talked about today were ads we placed with hotel tax dollars,” said Bayes.
Bayes adds that the return investment on the money awarded to them is exponential.
“The return on investment, we have a million dollar budget currently, the local tax dollars brought in by visitors is 7.4 million dollars making it 7 to 1,” said Bayes.
Business owners and organization heads used the open comment section of the meeting to voice their support of the one million, twelve thousand, five hundred dollar request the DMO has made.
“Why would we cut the budget? When everything from the DMO is going in the right direction, everything is possible. I don’t see a good reason or good rationale to cut it,” said DMO Chairman Griff Griffin.
“The worst thing you can do is stop marketing or slow down your marketing. I have not had to spend as much money as a business owner because the DMO is spending that money and their time and their resources to get people to San Angelo,” said business owner Michele Babiash.
The meeting was merely an open discussion and voting for the DMO budget will take place in September.