South Jacksonville Hotels Not Taking Advantage of Advertising Agreement

By Benjamin Cox on December 4, 2023 at 1:08pm

The Village of South Jacksonville’s hotels appear to not be taking advantage of a long-standing agreement with the village government to obtain reimbursement for advertising.

Commonly, advertising for the village at events throughout the area regularly feature the village’s four hotels located near Interstate 72. The hotel-motel tax creates a steady revenue stream for the village to provide grants to events held in and around South Jacksonville in order to keep the hotels full.

Village Treasurer Mindy Olson said last Thursday that the village’s hotels aren’t taking advantage of the agreement to help with their advertising: “The hotel ad reimbursement program – that is a line item in the budget for the agreement with the hotels that if they do advertising and they bring the bill in to Village Hall, we reimburse them 40% of the advertising cost. So far, in the last year and a half that I’ve been here, there is only one hotel that does that.”

Olson and Trustee Paula Belobradjic-Stewart who chairs the village’s tourism committee says that just the one hotel has commonly used the agreement. The line item in the village’s upcoming budget was recently increased after the unnamed hotel owner contacted the village saying they were going to increase their advertising this coming year. Olson and Stewart say the item is commonly budgeted for each fiscal year despite not being used by the other 3 hotels. The money in the line item is not carried over from year to year.