Lawton city council approves money to help local chamber

Lawton city council approves money to help local chamber

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce is getting more money from Lawton’s hotel-motel tax.

Chamber President Dr. Krista Smith-Ratliff said Lawton City Council approved a total of 100-thousand dollars.

She said the money is going to be used to completely support tourism in the area.

“Marketing and really getting the Lawton Fort Sill outdoors community active. We learned through the pandemic that people want to be outdoors and we want to celebrate our hiking trails, our camping, our lakes, and things like that. But we also plan to use it as a grant program through the Convention and Visitors Bureau,” Smith-Ratliff said.

Smith-Ratliff said 23-million dollars was spent on tourism during the ongoing pandemic in Comanche County.

“Direct impact was six million through the Chamber of Commerce and through CVB. We can document six million dollars was brought to our local community in Lawton Fort Sill through our agency. So, it’s really important that we reinvest back into that so we can continue those efforts going forward,” Smith-Ratliff said.

Councilman Jay Burk said the tax surpassed the six-hundred thousand dollars it was expected to make.

That’s how the Chamber was able to get the 100-thousand.

“It’s not like they are getting anything they shouldn’t get. It’s always been that same number. It’s just that we had an access of money, so they had to do it before the end of the fiscal year,” Smith-Ratliff said.

Smith-Ratliff said this will help small businesses around town as well.

“Our small businesses and hotels really count on visitors and conventions to bring two and three hundred people every weekend because they shop local and eat local, and spend local,” Smith-Ratliff said.

Copyright 2021 Texoma News Network. All rights reserved.