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County approves request for HOT funds for Bassmaster Open Tournament

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Orange County Commissioners Court approved a special request for $90,000 Hotel/Motel Tax (HOT Tax) Funds to promote the 2017 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Tournament to be held June 15-17, 2017 in Orange.

The announcement of the event was announced in early September.

Opens are divided into three separate divisions of three events each. The Opens Series has become extremely popular in recent years as the primary qualifying events for the prestigious Bassmaster Elite Series. The Top 5 anglers from each of the three divisions (after excluding any Elite anglers who are already qualified for that tour) are invited to step up to the pinnacle of professional angling, according to a B.A.S.S. announcement.

The county will use a reimbursement method this year.

“We will reimburse the funds after the fact,” Commissioner Barry Burton said. “This is a good model and will be cleaner for auditing.”

Burton added this is the approach the county will use for all such requests.

Commissioner-elect John Gothia and Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce President Ida Schossow thanked the court for the continued support for events.

“Good things are to come pout of this,” Gothia said.
“We had 540 room nights from BassChamps,” Schossow said. “We conduct surveys at each event. We had a lot of good surveys from the event which ask things such as how much did you spend on gas. We will continue forward with the surveys. We could not do these events without the support or Orange and the court.”

HOT Tax Funds are Orange County funds raised through a tax for hotel, motel, homes used by tourists for less than 30 days for the purpose of promoting tourism and the convention and hotel industry in the area.