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Downtown Marble Falls could get Instagram-worthy murals pending council action

Downtown Marble Falls could be home to two new murals pending City Council approval of hotel-motel tax fund distribution. Staff photo

Downtown Marble Falls could be home to two new murals after the Hotel Motel Tax Advisory Committee recommend distributing $12,000 for their creation during its June 16 meeting. The City Council must approve final funds distribution. A vote is scheduled in September. 

The murals would be painted at locations volunteered by property owners and provide “Instagrammable” photos, Downtown Coordinator Erin Burks explained during the meeting. Instagram is photo-sharing social media app. 

Although the content of the murals has not been finalized, Burks wants to make them interactive, like the famous “I Love You So Much” mural in Austin

“I’d like to try the two with two different styles of art,” Burks told committee members during the meeting. 

She anticipates the project will take 3-5 months to complete once the process of hiring artists begins in the fall. 

Every year, the city awards hotel-motel tax revenue funds to local projects and organizations that bring visitors to the area. The funds come from hotel-motel taxes that guests pay when they stay in overnight accommodations in Marble Falls.

Ten percent of the revenue is dedicated to an assistance fund for local organizations, although that percentage can fluctuate depending on how well the tourism industry is doing each year, Executive Assistant Lisa Ward said in an email to DailyTrib.com. 

During the meeting, $40,307 from the local assistance fund was granted to the following: 

  • $2,000 to the Howdy-Roo chili cook-off
  • $5,000 to the Highland Arts Guild
  • $29,307 to Highland Lakes Creative Arts
  • $3,000 to The Falls on the Colorado Museum
  • $1,000 to Traverse Trail Running

Also requested was $20,000 to operate an outdoor ice skating rink during the holidays and $4,000 to purchase one-year use of geofencing software, which helps determine the number of out-of-town visitors and event attendance by collecting ZIP codes from cellphones within the geofenced area. 

The Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce and Convention/Visitors Bureau was also granted $40,000, which will be split among several events throughout the year. 

brigid@thepicayune.com

1 thought on “Downtown Marble Falls could get Instagram-worthy murals pending council action

  1. I vote NO. For those who do not own a hotel or lodging facility or short-term rental such as a listing on AirBnB, you may not think about the economics of this fund. This county tax (5%) raises the room rate, obviously, which impacts not only the cost to you, the guest, but it also reduces the range of potential guests for the owner/host based on cost. The host has to collect it, report it and submit the tax to both the state and the county. Every quarter. The state allows payment online. Burnet County does not, and for some reason, does not seem to understand how or why you would want to. However, you sure can pay your Burnet County property tax online.

    The purpose of the hotel tax fund is specifically to promote tourism. To “put heads in beds”. Murals in Marble Falls are not going to be the reason someone chooses to stay somewhere.

    In fact, I could argue that this is upside-down. Guests are more prone to choose an accommodation because of its specific attraction, its amenities, nearby attractions such as hiking, biking, vineyards, dining, lake access, seclusion, etc. Nobody says hey, I’m here to see a mural.

    I argue that the hotel tax collected on the backs of the hosts, the ones that have taken on the costs and risks of operating a business, should be spent on advertising for those businesses. For sure, if someone stays in the area, they will visit MF at least for dining or to shop. In addition, those business owners should be included in voting on the usage of the funds.

    By law, the hotel fund demands transparency. Where do we find the total amount collected and every single grant amount and recipient? The last sentence regarding $40k for ‘several events’ is one-half of the total revealed in the article. What are those events?

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