The past year of additional $2 hotel fees in the Santa Ynez Valley proved to be a success, so the region’s decision makers have signed on to enjoy another four years as a Tourism Business Improvement District, or TBID, which allows areas to gather funds that can later be spent on marketing, educational training, and grants for tourism-boosting nonprofits and events. The $2 per night was collected by 32 hotels in Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Buellton, and Ballard starting in July 2010, and amounted to more than $550,000 in one year. The money was spent on, among other specifics, ads in visitor guides, coupon books, Sunset Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, enhanced listings on Expedia.com, training front-desk staff, and community grants to Danish Days, the Vaquero Show & Sale, the Wildling Art Museum, PCPA Theaterfest, and more. The district is now accepting grant applications for this year’s round of donations, too. See SYVHA.com.
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