Mayor Emily Larson Talks Proposed 2022 Tourism Tax Allocations

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth Mayor Emily Larson talked about the proposed 2022 Tourism Tax allocations and why those numbers changed compared to last year.

One of the most significant changes involves funding for Visit Duluth. In August, Mayor Larson announced Bellmont Partners as Duluth’s new tourism marketing firm for the next three years.

Last year Visit Duluth received $1.5 million from the tourism tax fund. Under this new plan, Visit Duluth will have a three-year contract, receiving $650,000 annually with a one-time $300,000 bonus for media purchases.

“Visit Duluth and City of Duluth continues to meet mostly every week to identify how we can continue through the convention center sales, the sports marketing, and the visitor center, so last night the board unanimously approved a resolution and a contract that will be coming forward to the council or visit Duluth to remain,” said Larson.

The total proposed 2022 hotel, motel, food, and beverage tax distribution is roughly $13 million, going to many different places.

“We have such a great year ahead of us, and I’m really excited about the potential to grow tourism taxes overall,” said Larson. “I do think our combined marketing and convention sales strategy will pay off.”

Among some of the other changes, UMD athletics no longer receives any allocated money in 2022, as they only requested funds for 2021. And the YMCA is no longer being funded because their three-year contract to provide lifeguards on Park Point is up at the end of the year. Instead, the Department of Parks and Recreation will be getting $46,000 to supply lifeguards.

The proposed allocation numbers for 2022 still need to be approved by City Council, as they vote on Monday.


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