Business Tourism Improvement District Background

Developed by Bishop lodging businesses and the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau (BACCVB), the Bishop Tourism Improvement District (BTID) is an assessment district designed to provide specific benefits to payors, by funding marketing and sales promotion efforts for assessed businesses. The BTID was initially formed in 2014 for a five (5) year term, beginning January 1, 2015.  The district was renewed last year for a 10-year term, January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2019.

The district includes all lodging businesses located within the boundaries of the Bishop City limits, including hotels, motels, hostels and short term rentals such as AirBnB.  Assessment rate is currently 2% of gross sales and is collected by the City of Bishop at the same time and in the same manner as Transient Occupancy Tax.  BTID funds are then forwarded to BACCVB on a quarterly basis.  BTID funds are used for tourism promotion programs as outlined in the BTID Management District Plan. No proposed changes to boundary, rate or business classifications are proposed for this year.

Bishop on the Move – by Civitas

The town of Bishop lies within driving distance of some of California’s iconic landmarks such as the Sierra Nevada mountains, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite National Park, and Death Valley. Far from being overshadowed by these well-known destinations, Bishop is a major resort town with its own attractions like the Buttermilk Boulders, and its own claim to fame, like being recognized as a Top 50 Adventure Town by National Geographic in 2011.

While the town could have rested on reputation, Bishop instead decided to pursue further adventure by establishing the Bishop Tourism Improvement District (BTID) in 2014. A 2% assessment became effective on January 1, 2015, with funds set to be used for tourism promotion programs. The programs included carefully considered projects from marketing to trout stocking, as well as tracking and measurement of results.

The Bishop website was rebuilt and launched in January 2018. By 2017, the BTID annual report found: “78.3% are new users. This proves marketing efforts are working to create new interest. The new website is an excellent tool for measuring effectiveness of all marketing investments. The significant increase in organic search indicates brand awareness is increasing – people are searching specifically for Bishop.”

In those two years, annual occupancy also increased from 60.7% to 67.0%, equating to nearly 20,000 more room nights per year. There were even some increases in average daily rates during off-peak times.

In January 2019, the Bishop City Council unanimously approved the renewal of the Bishop TID for another 10 years, ensuring ongoing support for the “small town with a big backyard.”



How Bishop CVB Captivates and Educates Visitors, Achieving 185% Web Engagement Rates

Natasha Kubura May 9, 2018

Nestled between the mountains of the Sierra Nevada desert, near California’s eastern border lies the town of Bishop, known to many as the gateway to a myriad of outdoor activities in the surrounding wilderness.

“Our tagline is ‘a small town with a big backyard,’ and that’s essentially what it is,” said Julie Faber, the Digital Marketing Manager for the Bishop Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. Faber adds that activities range from world-class hiking and bouldering to some of the state’s best trout fishing and bike trails. “It’s just kind of a Mecca of an outdoor playground.”

While the town attracts visitors far and wide through its peak season, the destination had always found it challenging to inspire visits from October through April, in spite of the fact that most of its attractions remain open.

Changing visitor perceptions of winter in Bishop

That is because the nearby town of Mammoth Lakes is well known for being a fantastic winter skiing destination, making it easy for would-be visitors to assume that Bishop is similarly covered in snow throughout the winter.

“Bishop, which is literally 45 minutes down the hill, is a high desert climate, and we don’t have snow, but people think we get buried in the winter just because of our proximity,” said Faber.

Not only are its hiking trails, rock climbing sites and bike paths open in the winter—with more manageable weather than the summer months—but Bishop is among the few places in the state that can offer fishing in the offseason.

“California as a state entity has a very distinct fishing opening date and closing date,” said Faber. “The majority of rivers are closed to fishing, but we just happen to have one of the best fisheries, and the portion that the majority of people fish is indeed open year-round.”


> READ THE FULL STORY: How Bishop CVB Captivates and Educates Visitors (CROWDRIFF)