Initial reports indicate that the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 did not significantly boost Casper’s sales tax revenue, but City Manager Carter Napier told City Council members at their Tuesday work session not to jump to any conclusions just yet.
“There probably still is some [sales] activity that hasn’t been registered, how much or to what extent it’s going to help the city, I don’t know,” he said.
The comprehensive study of eclipse-related tourism won’t be issued by the Wyoming Department of Tourism until November, explained Napier.
The initial reports showed that sales taxes collected in August — which were distributed in October — were only 8 percent higher than in 2016, according to a recent memo sent from the city’s Financial Division to Napier. And taxes were down slightly from those collected the previous two months.
The city manager concluded that the event was still a success, regardless of sales tax numbers, because of the positive publicity it gave to the city.
“It was amazing to me to understand that for one day in many days Casper led the Twitter universe with regard to conversations on Twitter,” he said.
Napier praised public safety officers for keeping local residents and visitors safe. He also said the city’s decision to temporarily relax open-container restrictions was well-received.
City officials spent years preparing for the event, which was projected to bring in about 35,000 visitors, and included a festival with dozens of vendors, street performers, musicians and food trucks situated in the heart of Casper’s revitalized downtown.
Mayor Kenyne Humphrey said Thursday that Council is a “little disappointed’ by the initial reports, but said she has no regrets.
“This [event] really showcased us to be this beautiful amazing city,” she said. “I wouldn’t give that up for anything.”
Congratulations to the city’s special projects coordinator Tanya Johnson.
Johnson was recognized as AARP Wyoming’s Community Partner of the Year at the organization’s annual awards dinner on Oct. 24, according to a press release from the city manager’s office. Johnson, who chairs the city’s Senior Advocacy Committee, is leading Casper’s effort to implement the recommendations in the city’s Senior Services Study Update of 2016.
Johnson said Friday that she believes it’s important to continue providing educational and recreational opportunities for seniors in order to keep them engaged with the community.
“I definitely don’t think its all been my effort, it’s a team effort, but it was very special to be recognized,” she said.
Happy Halloween to all our readers! If anyone is still looking for plans, a Haunted House is being held at the fairgrounds Monday and Tuesday nights. Admission is $5 per person or $10 for a family of four.
Since the event is organized by the Pound Puppies and the Pet Ring Foundation, all the proceeds go to support local homeless animals.
Call 307-797-1284 for more information.