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Article published January 17, 2013
Income up for tourism board
ZELIENOPLE — New hotel and motel rooms built in Butler County have the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau riding high financially. Ed Tanski, who acted as treasurer at Thursday’s meeting of the bureau’s board, said its revenues are up 24 percent over the agency’s projected budget. That money comes from a 3-percent tax on beds in every hotel, motel and bed and breakfast in the county. The increase in visitors to the county is reflected in the bureau’s budget, which topped $1 million in 2011-12 for the first time. Jack Cohen, the bureau’s executive director, pointed out that with about 2,000 hotel rooms continuing to be booked 70 to 90 percent of the time, the bureau is $100,000 ahead of where it expected to be this fiscal year. Also at the meeting, it was reported that registration has begun for the third annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, which will be on a new weekend — Father’s Day weekend, June 14 to 16 — at a new location — Cooper’s Lake Campground in Worth Township. Cohen said registration opened a week ago and more than 200 Jeepers already have signed up. Regarding another event, Cohen said work on the Aug. 10 to 16 Pyrotechnics Guild International’s Convention, also set at Cooper’s Lake Campground, is continuing. The Wednesday of that week will be designated Pennsylvania night. “There will be live bands from 4 to 8 p.m., all from Pennsylvania. That night’s display will be by Pennsylvanian pyrotechnic groups and companies, and we’ve invited Gov. Tom Corbett to attend,” Cohen said. The board will next meet at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Harmony Center in Harmony.