Claremore tourism tax on Tuesday ballot

Monday, April 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Claremore hotel owners say they would approve of a tax on their customers. They want to promote their town as a tourist attraction that would bring in more business. The vote for the 4-cent hotel tax will be Tuesday.

KOTV's Donn Robertson talked to some Claremore visitors to see what they think about paying more. Marie Falconer has put in 32 years of breeding; training and showing dogs; it's now a full time job. "I get to see the country and visit lots of places." Falconer is from Dallas and says Claremore's Expo Center is one of the raves at this dog show. "It's a great dog facility and a great facility for a town like this." Claremore city leaders want to bring more events and visitors to Claremore.

On Tuesday, they're asking voters to approve a 4-cent tax on hotel rates. The 4-cent hotel tax will raise about $60,000 a year. That money will go towards promoting Claremore as a visitor and tourist attraction. City leaders would focus their campaign by putting ads in convention and travel magazines. A commercial uses the voice of Will Rogers, "Prohibition you hear a lot about. That's nothing compared to your neighbors children who are hungry." They also want to promote Claremore as the home of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, and JM Davis' largest gun collection in the world. "You go to any city, any place and you are going to have a hotel tax." General Manager of the Days Inn, Dean Williams, is in charge of promoting the tax.

Williams says all the hotel owners in town support the plan, he says one owner was reluctant at first, but realizes the benefits. "It would bring more visitors to Claremore and more visitors to my hotel." And he says, best of all, its Claremore's visitors who will be paying the tax. Falconer doesn't mind paying a little extra. "I believe in it, I would vote on it." As long as she has a great place to show her dogs.

The committee putting together the plan includes two of Claremore's hotel manager's. They also looked at restaurant tax, but didn't want to tax people who live in town.