Buda OKs $13,000 in HOT grants

More than $13,000 in Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds was approved for the 2018 Fajita Fiesta, as well as the 2018 Buda Lions Club Country Fair and Wiener Dog Races. 

Approval of the funds came after Lysa Gonzalez, Buda director of tourism, presented recommendations from the HOT grant committee for fund allocations for the 2018 fiscal year.

Buda Lions Club requested and was approved for a total of $6,000, which was the same amount they were awarded last year. The 2017 event brought in over 20,000 people, officials said.

Photo by Moses Leos III

The Buda Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) requested $10,000 for the 2018 Fajita Fiesta event.

Chamber officials requested the amount after the 2016 Fajita Fiesta generated more HOT fund revenue than what was awarded for the event. Funding for the Fajita Fiesta is based on attendance numbers from the previous fiscal year.

Last year, the Buda City Council awarded the Chamber $6,000 for 2017, which will take place in September.

HOT committee members recommended awarding the Chamber a minimum of $7,500, which is expected to compensate for the projected 50-plus overnight hotel stays.

The amount could be increased to the full $10,000 following a post-event report where the Chamber shows the Fiesta increased HOT revenue. 

Gonzalez said that by 2018, approximately 670 hotel rooms would be available in Buda. That figure includes two new hotels that are scheduled to be built this year.

In addition, only two of the city’s existing hotels, the Comfort Inn and Candlewood Suites, allow pets, Gonzalez said in her report. 

However, hotels made a special exception during the wiener dog races and allowed pets for the one weekend.

Gonzalez said that only three hotels do not accept pets at any time during the calendar year.

However, Gonzalez said she didn’t have specifics on whether those three hotels that don’t allow pets adversely affect HOT figures.

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