Since going live with its “Visit Yuba-Sutter” webpage in May, the Yuba-Sutter Lodging Association has had nearly 7,000 people visit the site, interested in what the region has to offer, from recreational opportunities and lodging facilities to dining options and upcoming events.
The association was created after local lodging owners, part of the Yuba-Sutter Tourism Improvement District, decided to self-assess a 2 percent fee on each room night that guests stay to create a revenue source dedicated to funding marketing and sales promotion efforts.
Creating the website was one of their top priorities last year to help draw tourism to the area.
The lodging association is hoping local jurisdictions can bolster the association’s annual operating budget to further their efforts.
Four of the area’s six jurisdictions – Yuba County, Sutter County, Yuba City and Marysville -- have lodging businesses located in them. Each jurisdiction receives a 10 percent transient occupancy tax (TOT) on each night stay at any of the businesses, so the association is requesting a small portion of those TOT funds to supplement their own assessment.
“We are self-assessing ourselves, so this is us going to each jurisdiction to see if they can provide support from those TOT funds they receive,” said Jacob Young, president of the Yuba-Sutter Lodging Association. “The more funds we have, the more exposure and efforts we can get behind.”
Young said Yuba County has already agreed to contribute $15,000 this fiscal year, more than the association was requesting.
Yuba City’s financial contributions were crucial to the association’s early efforts in getting off the ground and running, Young said.
The association returned this year requesting Yuba City allocate $63,730 from its estimated $1.3 million in TOT funds, but city officials at Tuesday night’s board meeting decided to hold off because they wanted to see more concrete details as to what the group has planned moving forward, Young said.
Sutter County is currently going through the process to get the topic on an upcoming agenda for officials to discuss whether or not to buy in, and Young has plans to sit down with Marysville officials next week to start the process.
Young said he has also reached out to the team behind the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain to see if they’d like to support the association’s efforts. Once doors open at the casino in the coming months, he hopes those discussions will gain more traction.
Plans moving forward
Using the funds they currently have and whatever they are able to gather from the local jurisdictions this fiscal year, Young said the plan is to continue building on the success of the website.
“Our main audience that we are reaching out to is the Bay Area, to people looking to get out of the city and explore.
Given our close proximity, the area provides such a different atmosphere and demographic, and it’s far enough away from the city for them to want to stay for the weekend,” Young said.
Another new development the Yuba-Sutter Lodging Association is looking to roll out this year is a “rustic wedding” campaign, which highlights all of the different wedding venues the area has to offer.
It can serve as both a tool for locals looking to get married as well as drawing those from outside the area, Young said.
“We are also planning to launch a Visitor’s Guide in 2020 as a sort of resource guide for when people are visiting the area,” Young said. “So, we are working on a couple different initiatives and concepts right now that we hope to roll out in the future.”
For more information about the Yuba-Sutter Lodging Association and its efforts, go to www.visityubasutter.com.