Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The Hill County Commissioners met last Friday, February 19th with a group of Motel owners from the Havre area to consider a petition to form a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID). Every single Havre Motel sent a representative to the meeting with the exception of the El Toro Inn.

A TBID was cited by the Motel people as a way to generate additional funding to recruit visitors to the Havre area which would in turn help our economy. A flat assessment would be self-imposed for each occupied night at member motels and at the end of each quarter the fees collected would be remitted to Hill County and could only be used for tourism promotion, marketing of the local area and events, and to increase awareness of what Havre has to offer to visitors. The assessment was requested at $1.00 per occupied motel room night to be added to the regular room charge. The expenditure of the collected money would be decided by a board made up entirely of Motel people with assistance from the local Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee. TBID promoters anticipate a budget of between 50-80 thousand dollars per annum which will allow the local board to be aggressive and creative in their sales efforts. The Havre Chambers current budget for recruiting visitors to Havre is around $3,000 although the recent annexation of the AmericInn and Super 8 into City limits will increase the Chambers budget for next year to upwards of $20,000 because they now have enough motel rooms within city limits to meet the State minimal threshold for the next level of funding.

Recently House Bill 235 simply expanded existing BID legislation to allow for tourism promotion. The district can be non-contiguous in the case of lodging and the funds are to be in addition to and not to supplement the existing bed tax. The TBID can run for a maximum of 10 years and after the initial term the motels must re-petition. All TBID funds are assessed according to occupied room nights and are collected quarterly. TBID funds are not collected on rooms that are rented by the month. To put a TBID into effect 62% of the lodging facilities must agree a TBID is needed. There are currently over 400 motel rooms inn Havre and the only motels opting out of the proposed TBID were the Circle Inn, Siesta Motel, Hi-Line Motel and the El Toro.

The 4 motels opting out of the TBID program cited concerns that this extra dollar per night would drastically affect their business and further had concerns that they may lose business to neighboring towns like Chinook. Since the original proposal included all motels in Havre it is currently being re-done to exclude the four that don’t want to participate and the Hill County Commissioners will call for a new hearing to implement the TBID.

KUDOS to the motels that was willing to step up to the plate and support and promote future events, conventions, and visits to the City of Havre. Considering what the Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee has accomplished on a budget of around $3,000 per year just take a minute to imagine what can happen with an additional $50-80,000 going into the promotion of Havre area accommodations.

We at the Corrector have to wonder why the expenditure of $80,000 collected from out of area travelers to be used for promotion of our local area by private business owners was not deemed important enough to have a story in our local paid subscription “news” paper? (by the way, great job from our “professional” news people for finally reporting on Jim Catt’s filing for Hill County Commissioner in tonight’s Havre Daily “News”.  Very timely indeed)


  1. Yet another BAAHAHAHAHA @ the HDN

    What exactly do all the people that work there actually do? Not reporting it seems.

    Thanks Motel people for promoting Havre. Somebody should do it and I am glad you have stepped up to the plate

  2. Sounds like those 4 holdouts are just being kind of cheap and letting the rest of the bunch carry the load. Won't they reap the added profits that this additional promotion would bring to all of the motels?

  3. I doubt that anyone would drive to Chinook to save $1. The motels that use that as an excuse for not promoting their own businesses have serious flaws in their thinking.

  4. Great post but why the negitive slamb to the HDN it's clear that they do not have the scoop on many things that this blog covers but why do you alwise have to point that out. You are doing the job and seem to enjoy it take you're complaments from you're readers and call it good.

  5. Fuelburner – We slam the HDN because that is their job as a community paper to bring us the ACCURATE news in Havre. They have a paid staff, they sell ads, they make money, and they have the resources and connections to bring us a decent newspaper, which they do not do. Our blog has a few broken down old people that wander around the City and yet we know more than the professionals?????? There is something wrong with this scenario.

    We read the Landfill story in a neighboring town’s newspaper, we got the Jim Catt filing for commissioner story by just taking One Minute to call the courthouse and ask “Did anyone file for any offices today?” We broke the representative and senate district filing stories by taking 30 seconds to check the Secretary of State’s website under the link “legislative filings.” Finding news is not rocket science and the HDN can do better. Also since they have “professional” journalists wouldn’t you expect them to write timely, accurate and unbiased articles? Since that is not always the case we at the Corrector feel we need to point that out.

    However, if and when the HDN does something well we will point that out also. Such as the excellent editorial they ran demanding some transparency from our school district a couple of days ago. Consider this; If a little blog like the Corrector is getting news “tips” and story ideas e-mailed to us daily, wouldn’t you think the “real” newspaper is likewise receiving even more information but just fails to act upon that information?

    Thanks for your comment. We do appreciate feedback.

  6. Keep it up corrector The over charging monopoly Havre paper deserves it and I am going to email you some tips also about some other interesting things the havre paper has missed

  7. Fantastic idea from our local motels and maybe we can now get some of these smaller conferences that Havre always seems to miss now that some folks will be putting forth some effort to attract them.

    What is good for the motels will be good for all of us. I hope everyone shows support for this when it comes before the commissioners again

  8. This extra dollar per night isn’t only going to be collected from out of town people staying in Havre over night like everyone here alleges.

    We have a large contingency of adulterers here in town that regularly use the local hotels with back entrances for their trysts. This is not a self-assessment but rather a local tax on adultery. Surely you have heard of “sin” taxes? Taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and now adultery. You are driving everyone back to the backseats of their cars in some secluded alley someplace. How does that help the city?

    Where will it all end?

  9. SuzyQ, couldn't these high-class guys just start going to one of the four motels that are not going to participate?

    Must be some classy dudes you hang with if a buck is going to break them

  10. Well, suzyQ, if the extra dollar bothers them there is always the back seat of their car.