Posted on

Tourism Commission looks ahead to 2020

Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Tourism Commission met Thursday to reflect on the past year and begin planning and preparations for 2020.

Jeremy Yackle, the executive director of the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, presented the financial report through October and gave updates about the innkeepers tax report as well as the First Capitol Tourism Development Corp. contract.

Total revenue as of Nov. 30 was reported at $816,085.86.

Yackle said the commission’s expenses are expected to come in right under its projections for the year, which was expected with the construction of the land-based casino at Bridgeport that opened Dec. 12 as Caesars Southern Indiana Hotel and Casino. The facility replaces the casino on the Glory of Rome riverboat that opened in late October of 1998.

An amendment was proposed to the 2019 First Capitol Tourism Development Corp. contract to make adjustments for expenses from the year, which passed unanimously.

“The purpose of the amendment is to decrease the amount in the contract by $35,000,” Yackle said. “It doesn’t change anything, and we didn’t skip out on anything. We came in under budget on some stuff, and we have to adjust the contract accordingly.”

Likewise, the 2020 First Capitol Tourism Development Corp. contract was unanimously approved. The contract was set for $900,000, the same as the pre-amended contract.

“We are going to keep it the same as the pre-amended contract because we have no reason to change that,” Yackle said. “We set it a little high and then, if we have to change it, we can change it at the end of the year. It’s our standard services contract.”

Yackle also explained the final numbers for the year’s innkeepers tax will be released in February once all are reported. Currently, the collection is right under $4,000 from where it was this time last year.

Yackle and other board members expressed excitement for the upcoming year after looking back on 2019, with hopes of successful events and entertainment.

“It’s been a good year,” Yackle said. “It’s been a crazy year with the casino construction and us looking to get this rebrand finished, but I feel like we have bounced back and had a really good year, and I think 2020 will be just as great.”