Tourism

Tourism is the first of many un-polished gem in Ridgecrest of which I speak.
We do not have enough income to support many of the needs and virtually none of the wants inside the City of Ridgecrest from income to the City.

Tourists cost us virtually nothing. They do not impact the need for more infrastructure, roads nor schools. In some cases, all we have to do is be here in this, almost pristine, area. The Dean Runyon Associates Report analyzes visitors, be they business or tourists, for counties in California, which may be found at www.deanrunyon.com. It states:
1. direct travel spending in California was $109.6 billion in 2013
2. 11.9% of our gross domestic product in California Indirect taxes (this refers to the property taxes, excise taxes and fees that businesses pay to local, state and federal governments and does not include income tax) The largest single source that 11.9% – was in business/tourism travel.

What about locally?
Tourism is expect to grow another 4% for this year and more importantly we have an opportunity with Petroglyph Festival and Park and other events to draw new tourists to our area. Numbers released by the Runyon Report suggests the average spend of an overnight tourist is $200 for our area. Taxes collected from these visitors are vital to the health of our city budget. Based on 20% of the total, overnight stays equals 25,764 stays identified as tourists.
The total value of all overnight visitors has a revenue impact of $25 million to Ridgecrest through accommodations, food, and retail and gas purchases. Using the total tax rate of 9%, (TOT tax is 10%, TID 2%, Retail 8.25%), the tax revenue collected by area businesses is roughly $2.25 million. These tax revenues are almost 25% of the city’s entire budget. If visitors did not contribute to this budget, we would.

According to Cal Trans almost 5 million visitors drive by us on Hwy. 395. If we only got 1% of these to stop in Ridgecrest for food, gas, purchases or roomsand knowing the average spend of $200 adds almost an extra $1 million dollars to our local income.
When the Royal Air Force was here a short time ago, for not quite two weeks, they spent $1 million dollars. This particular contingent is expected back near the end of November for as long as a month. We do nothing to earn that except supply a service along with the Base.
This is not just the same local money swirling around our local pot. It is new additional monies spent here and returned to the City of Ridgecrest in taxes, salaries and benefits.

It is not magic it is pure supply side economics.

Smart money to our community businesses and to the City of Ridgecrest.

Instead of complaining, we do not have this business or that business, we have local businesses who uniquely serve this community. We have many Fortune 500 businesses here, as well as many national companies. If we support AND the City supports what we have, the rest will come!

I would like to see us investing in ourselves to grow our businesses and diversify our economy.
Tourism is the first proven alternative!

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