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  • BOS approves Visit Tucson, Sun Corridor contracts

    Aug 16, 2016 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 15 renewed contracts with our region’s two largest economic development agencies – Sun Corridor Inc. and Visit Tucson

    Sun Corridor inc. is the regional economic development agency that markets Southern Arizona and Pima County nationally and internationally, and coordinates with state and local jurisdictions to provide site selectors the information they need when making relocation decisions. 

    Air and SpaceThe $650,000 contract is roughly the same paid to the agency last fiscal year. Sun Corridor reported that last year its recruitment efforts resulted in attracting 2,381 jobs to the region from 20 different companies. 

    In a memorandum to the Board about the contract renewal proposal, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote, “It is important to understand that economic development activities and the actions necessary to create jobs and wealth in the community are dynamic, not static. It must be nimble enough to change with economic conditions and real constraints. SCI has been successful in this effort and needs to be supported by the County.” 

    Sun Corridor last fiscal year played key roles in the recruitment of Caterpillar’s Surface and Mining Technology headquarters, as well as the retention of innovative space technology firm World View. Combined, the two companies will add up to 1,000 high-paying jobs to the metropolitan area over the next five years. 

    The Board also approved $3.2 million for Visit Tucson. The contract obliges Visit Tucson to promote tourism, travel, film production, economic development, and sports – professional, semiprofessional and youth – in Pima County and Southern Arizona. 

    Visit Tucson will seek to increase visitation to Pima County through marketing, sales and advertising programs throughout the United States and the world. The state estimates that tourism has a $2.2 billion impact on the metropolitan Tucson economy.

    The contract includes performance measures such as increased visitation as determined by indicators like regional bed tax collections, lodging occupancy, attraction attendance, state of Arizona sales tax collections, sports tournament bookings and room nights.

    The recently completed 2016 fiscal year saw a more than $14.5 million increase in the hotel room revenue for the Tucson region. Revenue for the year was about $329.3 million versus $314.7 million in fiscal 2015. 

    Visit Tucson’s anticipates its budget will grow approximately 16 percent to $8.8 million this fiscal year. 

    Growing Visit Tucson’s budget will allow the organization to invest more money in initiatives that deliver more travelers and their dollars to Tucson and Southern Arizona. Approximately $400,000 of Visit Tucson’s projected revenue growth is tied to private sector funding associated with a proposed medical tourism initiative scheduled to launch this year. 

    Funding for the contract comes from the County’s six percent bed tax for lodging located in unincorporated Pima County, half of which is used to pay Visit Tucson. 

    The Board unanimously approved the Visit Tucson contract and voted 4-1 to approve the Sun Corridor agreement, with Supervisor Ally Miller voting no. 

    Support for Sun Corridor Inc. and Visit Tucson are among the job growth strategies included in the county’s Economic Development Plan.


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