SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego City Council's Budget and Finance Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a draft plan to reauthorize the city's Tourism Marketing District, which collects money from hotels for programs designed to attract visitors.
The Tourism Marketing District Management Plan will next go before the full council. If approved, it would be renewed for 39.5 years.
San Diego has about 15 million overnight visitors each year. The TMD, a pilot program set to expire at the end of this calendar year, currently takes 2 percent of gross room revenues from hotels with 70 or more rooms and redirects the funds to organizations like the Convention and Visitors Bureau or other activities that benefit the assessed businesses.
"When it comes to conventions and competition, people have a choice of where they go. If we are not marketing our city, people will go somewhere else," said Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer.
The proposed plan would take 2 percent of gross room revenues from hotels with 30 or more rooms and .55 percent from those with less, which is expected to bring in about $30 million annually for sales and marketing programs.
"The TMD is, of course, a very important asset to our city. The tourism industry is the third-largest revenue generator for our local economy and a key employment sector," said Councilman Todd Gloria. "Additional marketing of San Diego is critical of maintaining or increasing hotel occupancy rates."
The district was formed in 2007 as a five-year pilot program, and started operations at the beginning of 2008. It will stop collecting funds after Dec. 31 unless it is reauthorized.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.