CAPC: Sales tax revenues increase in Eureka

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotions Commission (CAPC) announced Wednesday, Sept. 10, that city sales tax revenues were up slightly over a three-year period based on an inflation-adjusted analysis. The modest gain is significant when comparing Eureka Springs revenue with the surrounding counties and taking into account the recession the country is facing.

"I don't know any other way to say it," CAPC Chairman Charles Ragsdell said. "Eureka Springs is up. The state's annual report shows an increase in visitors."

"We had record high collections in July," Commissioner James DeVito said. "Each month we're catching up from a slow June. Not all businesses are up, and from my experience in this, merchants must look at themselves. Merchants are not defined by their merchandise, they must change with the times."

"Overall we're doing well, but we're not saying everyone is up," Commissioner Robert Schmid said. "Owners must do their due diligence."

'If there's any statistical evidence that the state's figures are off, please show me," Ragsdell said. "We are spending our advertising money where it needs to be spent, and there's more wedding advertisements than event advertisements."

According to CAPC Director Mike Maloney, the CAPC is shooting six new commercials that will be aired in target markets, including one three-minute video. Maloney said June tax collections for Carroll County were up 9.4 percent with year-to-date numbers up 4.4 percent.

"Facebook is becoming an important factor with over 27,000 hits and 21,000 likes," Maloney said. "We are now using the main four social media sites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Social media use is shifting; we now get 50 percent of our hits from mobile use."

A surprise public relations opportunity came up for the city that is too good to pass up, Maloney said. The St. Louis Dispatch will feature Eureka Springs in its next Feast publication, which has a distribution of 160,000 copies. The CAPC has taken out a full-page ad.

DeVito said his business also will advertise in the publication.

"I hope other businesses take advantage of this opportunity," he said.

In other CAPC news, Ken Ketelsen, owner of Farm to Table Fresh in Eureka Springs, has been chosen to fill the vacant Position 3 spot opened after the resignation of Commissioner Lynn Bridwell. Ragsdell will endorse Ketelsen for approval at the Sept. 22 City Council meeting. Bridwell was acknowledged by the commission after a letter of resignation was read publicly.

The next CAPC meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24.

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