By John Horner
The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce is very excited that our community is in the final stages of establishing a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) and an associated new nonprofit, tentatively called “Visit Morgan Hill.” Creating the capacity to systematically promote and develop Morgan Hill as a destination for sports recreation, business conferences, major family events, wine tourism and entertainment festivals has been the hope and dream of many people for nearly two decades. It has taken much of 2018 for efforts by the local hotels, city staff and elected representatives to result in a plan for the hotels to voluntarily charge an additional 1.5 percent fee on short term stays in order to fund an independent nonprofit organization charged with improving the attractiveness of Morgan Hill for tourism and effectively promoting our city.
While tourism is not a great primary industry for a region (primarily because of the often low-wage job base), it is an outstanding secondary industry for a community thanks to the high net tax revenues generated and the substantial positive effect it has on the overall appeal of a community for residents and other types of employers. It’s good to have visitors help pay for the public infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, etc.), public safety and educational needs of our area while also providing a slice of the mid-skill level jobs needed to provide a good workplace for all levels of experience.
While your Chamber of Commerce has been active in the many discussions leading up to establishing this new TBID, we do not envision operating it or deriving significant direct financial support from it. We expect to be engaged with the new Visit Morgan Hill organization and its yet-to-be-chosen nine member board of directors.
Meanwhile, we remain interested in and committed to strengthening all of the elements of the local economy and its supporting social infrastructure through our broad portfolio of activities.
At the moment we are making preparations to announce next year’s Man, Woman, Student, Educator, Small Business, Large Business and Nonprofit of the Year honors. As of this writing all of the community nominations have been submitted and prior years’ winners have gathered to make the hard decisions about who to honor. Keep an eye on our facebook.com/MorganHillChamber page to see the announcements as we meet and surprise the winners.
Also keep an eye on your mail box for the soon-to-be-printed annual Guide to Morgan Hill directory. Publication is presently being delayed a bit by the too-close-to-call local elections as we normally feature information about your local elected officials in the guide. This year some of the races are so close we all must wait to see final official results. These are exciting times in Morgan Hill. Thank you for being a part of it all!
John Horner is the president and CEO of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce.
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