VCVB expects tough times again in 2011

Published 12:02 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau is not expecting any financial growth in the coming year, not because of the product, but because of the economy.

“Everyone I talk to in the industry believes that ’11 is not going to be any better than ’10,” Executive Director Bill Seratt told the board of directors Thursday night, “We are very fortunate that we saw growth in 2010, but it was only .9 percent.”

One thing the VCVB has going for it is that it has a surplus of $70,000 from a money market account to go along with its 2010 year end account balance of $80,000.

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Seratt reminded the board that the surplus is unusual.

“We did not have a full advertising program going and we had a lot of retained earnings,” he said. “In years to come we will not have money to transfer from the money market into general operations.”

In order to help with long-term growth almost half of the VCVB’s $1.1 million budget for 2011 will go to advertising and promotion.

The remainder will be divided among such areas as administrative expenses, attraction development, legal and professional fees and contract services.

Also discussed at the meeting were guidelines for sponsorship by the VCVB. Requests for marketing support will be evaluated based on long-term growth, budget and sponsorship, and stability.

During the executive director’s comments and department reports, Seratt gave a rundown on events from the last month. One of the biggest successes, he said, was the National Retriever Championship in Bovina Nov. 7-20.

It “was an overwhelming success,” he said, “and the organizers are planning on returning here in 2014.”

About 1,000 hotel and motel room nights were rented, Seratt said, and such businesses as restaurants and retail shops reported good income during the period.