By Collin Anderson

On Monday, Aug. 28, the Room Tax Board was able to meet to discuss various subjects ranging from the upcoming Labor Day festivities to the more overarching efforts to increase tourism in the county. The meeting began with a conversation about bills and covered a financial report.

After that, requests for funds were addressed, starting with the fireworks display that is going to be fired off during Labor Day. The $2,500 request was passed.

Following that, the board discussed a request from the people putting on the softball tournament in Pioche, but since all the board had to go off of was a request for funds without any additional information, it requested a more detailed report before approving the funds.

After this, the board discussed the maintenance of the fair grounds and all the buildings and foliage included in that property. This discussion started with references to the HVAC repairs that had to be made before the fair a few weeks before, and the board agreed that there needed to be more communication and more consistency in regard to these kinds of repairs and the overall care of the fair grounds.

The Panaca Farmstead was then mentioned as a possible means to help keep the grounds in good shape, with their bid stating that they would take care of repairs, the winterization of the buildings, and care for the trees on the property, but that they would not be responsible for paying for the parts for repairs or cleaning up trash by those who use the property. The trash cleanup would be the responsibility of those that use the building, as it has always been. The Farmstead’s bid came in at $2,000 a year. They also mentioned that they would check the property on a weekly basis.

After going over these issues, representatives from LCAT (Lincoln County Authority on Tourism) were able to give their report on the many ways that their organization has been trying to increase tourism in the area. Between updating the website, taking care of the billboard outside of Hiko (they thanked the board for their assistance), and extensive social media campaigns, they believe that they have increased the number of tourists entering the county.

But, to be even more successful, the LCAT suggested a few additional ways to bring in tourists involving the community: they want to work directly with local businesses and bring in experts to work with these businesses to help promote events, as well as have more events for the tourists to attend.

Finally, the LCAT requested that they have a closer relationship with the Room Tax Board, even suggesting that a member of the board attend their meetings. This seemed like a good idea to the board, so plans were set in place for a member to be in attendance.

Finally, the board returned to the issue of funding the Pioche softball tournament in the amount of $2,500. While the board was offered a better idea of what the money requested was going to be used for, it found issue with the fact that a director and assistant director would be paid a significant amount to run the tournament, since it never had to pay for these services before. In the end, the board approved the full amount, but required an itemized list of what the money was going to. Those in charge of running the softball tournament agreed, and the issue was resolved.