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Ketchum/Sun Valley Agree On Marketing Budget

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By Paul Johnson

Ketchum, Idaho ( Ketchum Keystone ) - Ketchum and Sun Valley officials have tentatively agreed to restore joint contributions to the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance to about $800,000 per year, the original goal set by the two cities when they established the organization in 2010.
The agreement, announced on Thursday, March 27 by Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas and Sun Valley Mayor Dewayne Briscoe, calls for Ketchum to contribute $450,000 per year and Sun Valley to contribute $350,000, a recent news release from Ketchum states. That represents about 25 percent of each city’s local-option tax receipts, according to the release. Both cities levy local-option sales taxes on items such as hotel rooms, restaurant purchases and retail sales other than groceries.
The plan is subject to approval by the each city’s council. The councils are expected to vote on the proposed expenditures this summer when they adopt their respective budgets for fiscal year 2014-15. The fiscal year begins on October 1.
The plan should ease tensions between the two cities that have developed since they created the Marketing Alliance. Over the past few years, Sun Valley has reduced its funding of the organization, while Ketchum has contributed more.
“This is a new era of cooperation,” Briscoe states in the release.
The cities achieved the agreement on Wednesday, March 26, at a joint meeting of the newly established Sun Valley and Ketchum subcommittees on marketing.
“Mayor Briscoe proposed that the two subcommittees get together shortly [after] my inauguration in January, and I thought it was a wonderful suggestion,” Jonas states in the release. “The conversation was very respectful and polite, and I appreciate his taking the initiative.”
Briscoe, Sun Valley City Council President Keith Saks and Sun Valley Councilman Franz Suhadolnik represented Sun Valley at the joint meeting. Jonas, Ketchum Council President Michael David and Ketchum Councilman Jim Slanetz represented Ketchum.
“That’s a great accomplishment that we did yesterday,” Briscoe said in an interview with the Ketchum Keystone on Thursday, March 27. “We sat down, and there was a willingness to cooperate and compromise to reach an agreement fair to both cities.”
Briscoe said that he’s proud of the agreement and “certainly” believes it will be a boon to the local economy.
“This will hopefully give us a more level playing field in marketing what we have to offer in both winter and summer activities,” he said. “But we’re still underfunded compared to some of our competitors. Hopefully this will put us on a course to recover from the recession and maybe even exceed pre-recession levels.”
Jonas states in the release that the local economy should also benefit from a one percent increase to Hailey’s, Ketchum’s and Sun Valley’s local-option taxes to support air service to the area, approved in November, 2013, by voters in the three cities.
“The [air service] tax is expected to fund development and marketing of commercial airline flights serving the Wood River Valley,” she states. “United Airlines began seasonal service from San Francisco this past winter, and will add Denver service in July.”


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