Block Island Times

Tourism Council brainstorms its way into 2022

The New Shoreham Tourism Council seems to have a highly unusual problem – more money than they know what to do with. Whether it’s the result of more and more tourists, or more money being charged for hotel rooms and rental houses, or all three, the Tourism Council has an excess of funds. The Council derives most of its revenues from hotel taxes charged by the state of Rhode Island.June of 2021, while in the last fiscal year accounting-wise, was much busier than normal, and for July through September of 2021 hotel taxespassed along to the Tourism Council by the state amount to $360,000, whereas for the same period in 2020 the amount was $241,000. “It’s amassively huge difference,” said Tourism Director Jess Willi.Adding to the excess is the fact that the expectations for the previous fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021 were exceedingly low due to the pandemic. And as revenues were expected to dive, so did the budget for expenses, the largest of which are for marketing campaigns.
Although the “brainstorming” session was its own agenda item, the conversation got going when it was time to consider the renewal of the lease for the council’s

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