By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Impartial Information
Efforts to get guests to spend time in Bowling Inexperienced are paying off – actually.
The hotel-motel tax income within the metropolis throughout 2022 introduced in numbers that surpassed all earlier quarters, together with income in pre-Covid 2018 which was simply over $240,000. The ultimate quarter for 2022 will not be but in, however a 40% improve was seen within the first three quarters.
“It was a shock to all of us,” mentioned Bowling Inexperienced Chamber of Commerce Govt Director Mary Hinkelman.
“We’re inspired to listen to from our inns that they’re seeing days when the inns are offered out – even and not using a particular occasion being on the town,” Hinkelman mentioned.
It could assist that Bowling Inexperienced now has 70 extra lodge rooms out there with the opening of Home2Suites.
“It’s nice to maintain them right here,” she mentioned of in a single day visitors. “In any other case they may keep in Perrysburg.”
When in a single day visitors keep in native inns, they have a tendency to additionally spend cash elsewhere within the metropolis – at fuel stations, eating places, retailers and on recreation.
The lodge tax income is then put again into selling town for potential guests.
“We’re all the time in search of alternatives to deliver folks to Bowling Inexperienced,” Hinkelman mentioned. “We’re not a vacation spot per-se, with an amusement park or a lake. We have to create experiences.”
The lodge tax income is split into efforts to draw native residents to partake in occasions, to draw leisure vacationers who’re passing by, and to get “heads in mattress,” with in a single day stays at inns for main occasions.
The tax income can also be put into grants for occasions that entice guests.
The inaugural Ohio Wine Producers gathering in Bowling Inexperienced final 12 months introduced in guests from additional away than many occasions.
Along with placing heads in beds at inns, the VINO organizers labored with native companies like Copy Store for banners, Kabob It for meals, Ben’s for sweets, and Novel Blends for nuts.
“It’s tremendous thrilling to see that with a first-time occasion,” Hinkelman mentioned.
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The aim is to make the wine gathering a two-day occasion – with cooks pairing dinners to go together with the wines.
Bowling Inexperienced has additionally change into the house to many soccer and baseball tournaments. Meaning in a single day visits, eating at eating places, and recreation.
“These are big, particularly after they deliver households,” Hinkelman mentioned.
Bowling Inexperienced can also be turning into recognized for its public artwork, with an estimated 20 murals all through the neighborhood.
“We see it day-after-day, however folks come right here for these,” Hinkelman mentioned.
The Go to BG Ohio tourism grants had been awarded final 12 months to a number of organizations that impression tourism in Bowling Inexperienced.
“Our dedication to those grant recipients went a lot additional than to only present them with the requested funding. We labored alongside them offering assets, connecting companions, and taking part within the occasions,” Hinkelman mentioned.
The Ohio Wine Producers Affiliation utilized for this grant to have the ability to host the primary VINO Wine Competition to Bowling Inexperienced. The OWPA offers these occasions to teach visitors about Ohio wines and allow them to pattern all kinds.
The pageant, which featured 13 Ohio wineries, was held on the Pratt Pavilion on the Wooden County Fairgrounds. There have been an estimated 500 visitors, with 10% from exterior the Bowling Inexperienced space.
There have been 20 associated distributors, 10 of whom had been native.
The Ohio Wine Producers Affiliation is taking a look at dates for 2023.
Grant monies additionally partnered the Bowling Inexperienced Chamber of Commerce with Go to BG to increase the annual Independence Day fireworks show into BG Increase Competition and Fireworks.
The native pageant with inflatables, video games, face portray, efficiency by the BG Neighborhood Band and root beer floats for free of charge provided a good way for the neighborhood to return collectively, Hinkelman mentioned.
The fireworks had been launched from the Nationwide Tractor Pulling Championships property. Greater than 2,000 folks had been estimated to have attended the pageant on the Wooden County Fairgrounds.
“We introduced folks from a long way away,” Hinkelman mentioned.
The chamber is working once more with the honest board to supply fireworks and the pageant this 12 months.
The chamber additionally continued grants to supply shuttles for each the Nationwide Tractor Pulling Championships and Black Swamp Arts Competition. The shuttles present these staying in native inns a comfort for selecting to remain at a Bowling Inexperienced property.
There have been virtually 500 shuttle rides to the tractor pull final 12 months, and they’ll proceed this 12 months.
The shuttles supplied for the Black Swamp Arts Competition had low utilization. Hinkelman mentioned she is working with the committee to see how the humanities pageant will be supported another way this 12 months.
A grant was additionally awarded to GAS Disc Golf to make enhancements to the disc golf course at Carter Park. Presently the group hosts tournaments that draw folks from a 100-mile radius to look at or take part. The enhancements will make the course extra interesting and difficult, making a vacation spot course for the avid disc golf participant.
The chamber and Go to BG additionally sponsored Firefly Nights, Wooden County Museum, Particular Olympics, and BG Youth Baseball.
The Bowling Inexperienced Chamber of Commerce and Go to BG Ohio collaboration continues to evolve and search for new alternatives to market Bowling Inexperienced.
In 2023, Go to BG Ohio will buy the Smith Journey Analysis Report back to set new benchmarks for the common occupancy fee and common each day fee to extra precisely monitor how the inns are doing. This report was bought in 2019 and can present historic comparisons.
Due to the sudden income improve from the Resort Motel Tax, ITI Advertising and marketing has been contacted to start out work on a brand new neighborhood occasions calendar that can change Go BG Ohio web site and app.
“We’re trying ahead to rolling that out to the neighborhood,” Hinkelman mentioned.