Two entities that receive funding from the Town of Parker’ hotel/motel bed tax made presentations to the Parker Town Council at their June 5 meeting. Skip Becker of the La Paz Economic Development Corporation and Mary Hamilton of the Parker Regional Chamber of Commerce & Tourism emphasized the roles their organizations play in developing the area’s economy.
Becker want first. The organization was founded by a group of individuals including Roberta Hoffman and D.L. Wilson in 2011. Becker was hired as President and CEO in February 2013.
Becker recited a number of accomplishments from the last five years. These include the Tesla electric car charging station in Quartzsite, Sako Oil Recycling in Parker, the new store of Spanky’s RV & Marine, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Jack in the Box in Parker and Environmental Management Solutions in Parker South.
The La Paz EDC’s biggest accomplishment to date was Rose Acre Farms’ Lone Cactus Egg Farm south of Bouse. This facility has an annual budget of $40 million dollars.
Becker said the area has a major economic driver in the Arizona & California Railroad. He also thanked Arizona Public Service for their economic planning services.
In addition, Becker noted he’s been reelected to another two-year term in on Arizona Association for Economic Development Board of Directors. He said this has brought exposure to Parker and La Paz County.
Becker thanked the council for their support of the La Paz EDC.
“Investment brings success,” he said.
Hamilton noted many of the events the Chamber sponsors, including the Tube Float and the Downtown Experience for the Parker 425 off-road race. She said area hotels and motels were 99 percent filled during the Memorial Day weekend.
The Chamber operates a Visitors’ Center at their office, and Hamilton said they had a large number of people stopping by in the winter months. She said it sometimes took their entire staff of three to operate the Visitors’ Center.
“Visitors are very loyal to our Parker brand,” she said.
Hamilton said the Chamber’s website has been busy with searches for local events and businesses. One of the Chamber’s specialties is providing referrals to local businesses.
On the tourism end, Hamilton said the Chamber has prepared an off-road map of the Parker area. They also participated in the Rural Arizona Tourism Marketing Program and will be attending the Arizona Conference on Tourism in July. They’ll be hosting “Meet the Candidates Night” in July.
Hamilton said the Chamber will be working with Parker High School on workforce development.
“We want to have a workforce ready for all the jobs Skip is bringing in,” she said.
Hamilton also thanked the council for their continued support.
For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the La Paz EDC received $25,000 from the Town’s hotel/motel bed tax. The Chamber received $23,000 and an additional $25,000 for tourism.