Yellowknife hotels want extra $2 added to bills
Levy would pay for a coordinator to bring more conferences to city
The Yellowknife Hotel Association wants to add an extra $2 to hotel bills with a one to two per cent levy.
The association said the levy would raise the $400,000 needed to hire a conference bureau chief. That person would work to bring more conferences to the city.
Jenni Bruce from the hotel association said the person they'd like to hire would spread the word about Yellowknife as a good conference destination.
"What we'd like to see them offer is the unique tourist opportunities. Going out skidooing, doing the d og sled runs, viewing the aurora, the fishing, fly fishing, all of that... hotels and meeting rooms are kind of the same in every city you go to. It's all the pre and post activity is what we believe will lure people up here," said Bruce.
"I think a lot of people assume because they do see the North of 60 shows that you're not going to get such a... the nice meeting room and the nice hotel room," she added.
A hotel levy was proposed several years ago. Now, it wants the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs to resurrect that proposed legislation.
The city plays host to large conferences every year, like this coming summer’s Canadian Medical Association’s annual meeting.
"We’d love to get some more conferences like that, that would take up all of our hotel spaces, the restaurants would be full, the pubs would be full, the gift shops would be full. That’s outside money so it’s good for our economy," said Tim Doyle with the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce.
The hotel association said it wants to see a conference centre open in the city if the conference bureau coordinator is a success.
Meanwhile, Bruce said she has seen some reluctance from hotels in communities about the levy because she said they don’t see the purpose of a hotel levy. But Bruce said they would see a benefit.
"Anytime we can get anyone up to the territories they do start looking out further past the Yellowknife city lines," she said.