Corbin Tourism talks about the new year and finances

January 17 – CORBIN – 2023 promises to be a big year for the Corbin Convention and Visitors Commission, which met last week to discuss upcoming events as well as their latest audit.

A top priority is to improve on last year’s 4th of July fireworks display.

“It was no secret that last year was a huge disappointment,” said tourism manager Maggy Monhollen. “The show didn’t go as planned.”

Monhollen contacted the company about the issues — which led to a shortened show — the day after the event to avoid a repeat in July, and the board voted to increase the budget by $5,000 to ensure a spectacular event.

“Audiences can be quite brutal and have been all year,” Monhollen observed. “We don’t have a $3 million budget like our neighbors to the north, but we do what we can with what we have.”

Corbin Tourism is planning a bigger show with double the number of shells and over 468 shells in the final alone.

Plus, they’re also looking to add more things for the family to do during this event.

Additionally, House Bill 8 affects local short-term rentals and the transitional tax, once collected quarterly, will be collected monthly.

“The state requires the transitional tax to be collected monthly. State law trumps local law,” Monhollen explained. “We had to change our order because we have to comply with state law.”

Some confusion over whether short-term rental companies like airbnb and Vrbo would collect the tax for city and county tourist agencies has made things a little confusing for landlords.

Accountant Bryan Gray reviewed the monthly and annual financial report with the committee members.

“We have some good numbers to review today,” he said. “Our cash position is very strong at this point.”

In terms of cash flow, the current total of $999,388 represents a 46% increase over the same period last year when they had $682,571.

So far, the only purchase outside of normal expenses for the fiscal year was $44,521 used for the Farmers Market Pavilion project.

“It was a good December,” Gray said.

Corbin Tourism also saw a 13% increase over last year in restaurant tax revenue and continues to see the transitional tax improve.

The commission received additional funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant in December. Excluding the grant money, their total net income for December was $5,090 for December.

Total transitional taxes for the year were $1,391,688, compared to $896,110 in 2019.

Either way, the numbers are good,” Gray said.

“I think the numbers show the growth in this area,” Monhollen said. “I really think those numbers are very strong for us.”

Tom Gambrel reviewed the financial audit of Corbin Tourism.

“This report shows good results in the use of public money and a good financial situation for the future,” he said.

The 2023 travel show schedule was discussed with opportunities for Corbin to be featured at shows in Chicago, Louisville, the local boat show, Indianapolis, the Heartland Tour bus show, Atlanta and Nashville.

“We have an extensive marketing plan,” Monhollen noted.

Among other things discussed was the approval of a $250 donation from Knox County United for the Fishing Tournament and the new Corbin Travel Guide – including where it would be available this year.

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