PALMDALE — The City Council approved formation of a self-assessment district intended to boost travelers’ stays at Palmdale hotels and motels during its regular meeting, Tuesday.
Every hotel and motel in the city is included in the Palmdale Tourism Improvement District, which will levy a 2% fee on each that will fund efforts in drawing more visitors to the city and to extend their stays.
“The development of the Palmdale Tourism Improvement District is in line with what other cities are doing and is necessary to keep us competitive,” Economic Development Director Luis Gonzales said.
The proposal was created by hotel owners and managers through the city. It would create a nonprofit, private entity to direct spending of the estimated $900,000 annually that the District would raise, according to the staff report.
The funding would be used to help increase hotel stays through promotion of travel and tourism. The District would look to hold special events — which would also benefit the local community — improve infrastructure and enhance current visitor attractions.
The District can also help promote existing facilities and activities that may interest those coming to town for business or sports tournaments, extending the time they spend in Palmdale, Mayor Steve Hofbauer said prior to the Council meeting.
The assessment paid by all hotels and motels would be 2% of the gross short-term room rental revenue; it would not include stays of more than 30 days or those under contract before Nov. 1.
It would last for five years, if approved.
Tuesday’s hearing was the final of two public hearings before approving the District. In each, Councilmember Richard Loa expressed concerns that small motels would be included in the entity’s direction, in order to ensure they would also benefit.
“My concern is that we’re going to be including them in paying this surtax, or this voluntary amount,” he said. “It’s important that they receive benefits from it.”
The nonprofit’s seven-member governing Board will include four representatives of hotels, of which one will be what is termed “boutique lodging,” with fewer than 90 rooms, Gonzalez said.
The remaining members will be two representing the City and one representing tourism and hospitality interests.