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Spirit Lake Council gets Okoboji Tourism update

By Staff | Feb 14, 2008

SPIRIT LAKE — The Spirit Lake City Council Tuesday night heard just how much return tourism investment is getting.

Stacy Rosemore, the new tourism director for Okoboji Tourism, met with the council to talk about area promotional efforts now and in the future.

Funded by hotel/motel tax dollars, Okoboji Tourism promotes the Lakes area throughout the Midwest and beyond, Rosemore said.

In Iowa, tourism is a $5.8 billion annual business. For Dickinson County, tourism spending has seen a big increase recently, up from $170 million in 2005 to $183.6 million in 2006, Rosemore said. That translates to $3.25 million in tax receipts alone.

Rosemore showed the council Okoboji Tourism’s number-one marketing tool, Vacation Okoboji magazine, with 35,000 copies printed annually. The magazine is distributed in welcome centers and hotels and motels around the state. About 20,000 copies were also distributed through sportsmen’s shows and through phone and Web-site requests, she said.

The Okoboji Tourism Web-site, vacationokoboji.com, has been recently revamped to reflect the publication, Rosemore said. Last July the Web-site had 900,000 hits, said Rosemore. She said Okoboji Tourism also advertises in other publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, Midwest Living, the Omaha World Herald, and Iowa Travel Guide.

In other business Tuesday, the council approved the consent agenda and resolutions approving the Public Visioning Statement and the city’s agreement with Lakes Community Land Trust for the Old Towne Project.

A resolution was approved for an extension of the city computer services agreement with ACS for $2,173.50 a month.

A resolution was also approved for deleting Alliant street lights. City Administrator Mark Stevens the change would not diminish visibility.

In other business:

n Tom Hinrichsen of Winter, Stave and Co. presented the 2007 audit report.

n The council reappointed Joel Vos and Ryan Summers to the Plumbing/Mechanical Board.

n Troy Visscher and Terry Bockman were also reappointed to the Electrical Board.

n Councilman Kevin Bice reminded snowmobilers that they will be cited for driving on private property.

n Councilman Jerry Harbst said a fourth stop sign has been placed at Lake and Jackson.