BEATRICE – The President of the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce told Gage County officials today that high turnover in the Gage County Tourism Director position can be attributed to the level of pay and benefits.
:08 “full medical”
Chamber President Lora Young says she’s gotten applications to fill the position vacated by Lisa Wiegand, including a couple of “really great candidates”, in her words.
Wiegand recently was named as the new Emergency Management Coordinator, in Gage County.
The chamber of commerce partly subsidizes Gage County Tourism, along with county funding. Young says the pay level for the tourism position locally is, “at the very bottom” by comparison with other such positions in the industry.
:13 “keeps us low”
In Gage County, two percent of the county’s four-percent lodging tax funds visitor attraction improvements. The remaining two percent funds marketing and promotion efforts.
Young says the chamber needs to find a way to pay more money for a tourism director, but cannot afford the medical coverage. Currently, with a medical stipend, the salary level of the Gage County Tourism Director position is around $30,000. By comparison, Young says most other similar positions are closer to $40,000 in Nebraska.
:19 “doing both jobs”
Young thanked the county today for approving the use of visitor improvement funding to help market the area for the full solar eclipse events. During a quarterly report, she displayed maps showing numerous locations from where the area drew visitors for the event and the days surrounding it.
:04 “saw it everywhere”
Young says there were several visitors from Minnesota….one of the areas targeted in the marketing effort. She said membership in a statewide coalition to market the eclipse events also was a plus.
:40 “next week”
A fall tourism conference in Nebraska will review the success of the August 21st solar eclipse and activities promoted in relation to it, across Nebraska.