Visitor Impact Task ForceMay 23, 2017

Minority Report proposal — original pdf

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From:To:Subject:Date:Minority ReportTuesday, May 23, 2017 8:20:10 AMFelicia,Please print for VITF & add to website.Thanx,PamThe Visitors Impact Task Force seems to be addressing allocationof only the potential 2% increase in HOT funds that would occurwith expansion of the Convention Center. The existing programscontinue to expand their budgets with the increase in revenuefrom HOT. (City Council Resolution 20160818-075 clearlydirects the Task Force to ”Make recommendations to the CityCouncil about how to best utilize all hotel occupancy revenue toimpact tourism by April 1, 2017.”) The Heritage Fund beingtransferred to another entity is the substantial change beingpresented.Therefore a minority report is being submitted to consider thatCity Council request Visit Austin, formerly Austin Conventionand Visitors Bureau, review the Global Sustainable Tourismcriteria for implementing in Austin. Seems that this wouldsimplify & define common goals initially in regards toexpectations of business models. One example: vendors agreeing to recycle in the conventioncenter.Other possibilities include:A)Special consideration for the allocation of HOT funds torecipients who are requesting funds for the first time.B)Inject into the tourism conversation the idea of a carryingcapacity for hard and soft infrastructure.Pam ThompsonFelicia Ojeda C)Use the plan to focus more resources on transportation safetyand developing new, low-emission mobility options.D)To protect green space in the urban core from encroachmentand to enhance the tree canopy.Funding could come from the cultural/arts program. It could betourism promotion, it could be historic preservation, it could evenbe fashioned as a "venue" if it was linking places in a commonplan that were not geographically linked. For example, part of asustainable tourism plan could be agri-tourism, linking our localfarms and remaining operating ranches with local breweries andfarm to table restaurants with other sustainable sites, including,for example, Austin Energy's East Austin solar farm. The VITF minority report encourages the City Council to ask theJoint Sustainable Committee and the Environmental Board to beinvolved in the review, at a minimum. recommendations are:A)Recommend to the City Council to use the HOT for a COASustainable Tourism Plan .B ) Evaluate the Austin Convention Center to determine how theexisting space could be redesigned for better utilization of thehallways, vertical space and the roof. C)Designate Trinity St. from Cesar Chavez to 4th St. as a lowemission zone for vehicles and have the Austin ConventionCenter post no engine idling signs to existing posts. D)Include in calculations for the actual or projected economicbenefit of conventions the cost of lost hours in reduced mobilitydue to traffic congestion in the impacted area surrounding theConvention Center and the supporting hotels.E)Consider increasing convention center space by constructing anew building in the Domain or other part of Austin in the DesiredDevelopment Zone that has existing hotel infrastructure.Pam ThompsonBoards and CommissionsIMPORTANT NOTICE: The City of Austin provides e-mail addresses for members of its boardsand commissions for their use as board members. This address should not be used for private orpersonal messages. The views expressed in e-mail messages reflect the views of the authorsalone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any board or commission of which the authormay be a member. In particular, the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of theCity of Austin, or any of its departments, employees or officials. E-mail messages may be subjectto required public disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act.