YORK COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Visit York County has coordinated and promoted events and attractions in York County. This marketing can help boost local business and can bring more revenue into the county.
Monday night, York County Council making a vote to amend a budget that leaders say will greatly impact Visit York County reach’s.
York County Council Voting 4-3 to pass an amendment to the upcoming fiscal budget that would take away funds from the Convention and Visitor Bureau, known as Visit York County. Council members suggesting those funds be used for parks — like Riverbend Park. In that meeting, County Council members sharing their views on parks projects.
“We are paying for it with the H-tax money that we took from Billy. Part of why we took it in the first place was to pay the bonds we issued to spend the $20 million to buy that property. And now what little bit we’ve got left, that can be used for marketing somewhere else in the county besides Riverbend Park, we’re gonna take that away too,” says County Vice Chair Robert Winkler.
“Fort Mill and Lake Wylie, we’re not looking for visitors — parks are for the people that live there,” says County Councilwoman Allison Love.
That budget reduction will take $300,000 of hospitality tax funding from Visit York County and now those leaders are saying they’re left to take a hard look at the remaining budget before the new calendar year begins in July.
Visit York County’s Billy Dunlap saying, “As things stand right now we’re going to focus more on our municipalities. York County Council will still provide some accommodations tax funding for us, but you know they’re going to account for 4% of our budget, so it’s going to be the decisions that we make will be based on where our funding is coming from.”
Exceeding year’s past, last year Visit York County brought in more than $60 million in revenue.
In that meeting County Councilman Joel Hamilton saying, “I think if we’re operating this county like a business, which I try to have that mindset, I don’t know why we would cut our marketing budget when it generates substantial returns. It’s like telling your sales and marketing people, ‘Oh you’re doing a great job, thank you so much for doing such a great job, but we want to save money as a business so we’re going to cut off our nose to spite your face.”
Hoping to continue their work, Visit York County leaders saying tourism has helped businesses come back from the pandemic faster than the national average.
“Tourism has really allowed our partners are restaurants, our accommodations, our attractions, or hotels to really bounce back quicker than most communities around the country,” says Dunlap.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with Visit York County leaders about its change in funding.