The Stephenville City Council will consider a resolution on Dec. 5 to create a Stephenville Tourist and Visitors Bureau, according to a press release issued by the city Friday. 

If approved the TVB will be funded solely by proceeds of the Hotel Occupancy Tax or HOT.  The HOT is a seven-percent tax that is levied on nightly hotel room rentals.  

For many years the city has had an informal agreement with the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce to serve as the Visitors Center. “The community should be very grateful of the work the Chamber has done as our Visitors Center, under the leadership of July Danley and its board of directors,” the release states. “The City Council feels it is the right time to consider taking the step toward a full-time Visitors Center.”

The proposed creation of a Tourist and Visitors Bureau is intended to provide a more targeted effort to attract travelers to Stephenville.  The goal is to increase overnight stays in our local hotels, support local businesses and generate additional HOT proceeds for the arts, such as the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council and our summer concert series, preservation of historic structures, such as the courthouse and Oxford House, and eventually provide support for sports-related facilities to host regional tournaments or rodeos.  

The plan to consider a Tourist and Visitors Bureau is a new approach and based on an opportunity to create an organization that is focused exclusively on marketing Stephenville, not only as an event destination, but to also attract tourists and visitors to enjoy our great community.  Two key factors combine to facilitate the need for these plans, increased traffic on US281due to the expansion to a “Super Two” configuration and the increasing population in north central Texas. 

City staff is working to develop the proposed framework for the Tourist and Visitors Bureau to be presented to Council.  Over the next few weeks city staff will be examining the operations of several cities that have been cited for having Visitor Center best practices.  

Budget information, staffing projections, operational procedures, and an implementation plan are expected for the council to consider at their Jan. 2 meeting.