Chairman Mello and Members of the Appropriations Committee:

The Nebraska Hotel & Motel Association would like to extend support for LB 450 which would create a fund and grant process to encourage and promote tourism in our state. We believe this legislation would serve as an important component to increase both national and international events to our state.

Tourism is Nebraska’s third largest industry for generating out of state income. Our members along with other sectors of the travel service industry are dependent on tourism activities to remain profitable. As venues outside of our state increase their efforts to bring in the most sought after entertainment and events, Nebraska needs to remain competitive to continue to be a leader in recruiting major events.

This bill provides a process for communities to seek grants in their efforts to bring events to their area and the state. LB 450 has built in checks and balances to ensure a competitive process for the funds along with requirements that a community must meet to receive assistance. The requirements regarding follow up evaluation after the event will allow the Commission to better manage and grade the funds’ achievements.

Nebraska has done a good job of attracting national scope events to our state, but we believe that we can, and should, develop even more opportunities. This bill will provide a business model that can be used by the tourism industry in their efforts to seek out major events that target out of state visitors.

The Nebraska Hotel & Motel Association would request the Committee advance LB 450 for the benefit of our state.