Lockhart Chamber set to act as visitor’s center
By Wesley Gardner
The Lockhart City Council on Tuesday approved a contract with the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce that will allow the chamber to act as the city’s visitor center.
In its function as the visitor’s center, the chamber would be required to distribute tourism material, provide information on area attractions, promote hotels and short-term rental properties and provide information on arts, dining, history, shopping and other attractive features in Lockhart.
As part of the agreement, the chamber will receive $20,000 through the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) Funds, which are disseminated to entities that hold events or provide services that draw tourists and result in overnight stays.
According to chamber Board of Directors Chairman Linda Haden, one of the ways the chamber will help draw in visitors will be to revamp the visit Lockhart, chamber and Chisholm Trail Roundup webpages.
“The visit Lockhart page is for everybody within the city, not chamber membership, so anyone can post something on there,” said Haden. “It’s focused primarily on the businesses, shopping, dining, Air BNBs, hotels, historic sites, the library, tours — those kinds of things.”
Haden said chamber is working with a local photographer to get interesting shots around the city, including drone shots and footage, that will help make the webpages more enticing.
“What we want to do is make this as inviting as we can coming out of COVID-19,” Haden said.
Kim Clifton, director of membership development for the chamber, said the HOT Funds could also be used to purchase advertising that would direct more people to the city.
Clifton noted one avenue the chamber might take would be the purchase of either a four or eight-minute video segment that would air on 24 different stations, including the local CBS.
“[The producers] would come to Lockhart, talk to us, go all around Lockhart and see the different businesses – things that are going to bring people to Lockhart,” said Clifton, noting the chamber would also receive a copy of the video that they could use at their discretion to help promote the city.
Additionally, Haden said staff would be making changes within the chamber building itself to help it function more effectively as a visitor’s center.
“We’re going to be setting up the foyer area with a receptionist desk with some pamphlet brochure holders that are up on the wall,” said Haden. “We’re redoing the conference room. We’re putting some outdoor lighting for nighttime safety.”
Haden said the chamber would also put out a sign in book that would help staff keep track of all the visitors coming in and out of the building.
In other business, councilmembers approved a resolution that will allow City Manager Steve Lewis to establish procedures for granting temporary licenses that will allow qualifying businesses to temporarily occupy city property such as a parking spaces for dining spaces to help business owners adhere to social distancing requirements.
Lewis said the Lockhart Parklet Program will be similar to the city of San Marcos’ program.
Under the guidelines, businesses would not be allowed to apply for a license if its use would result in violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, interfere with the free passage of vehicles or pedestrians on the sidewalk, interfere with utility operations, block intersection visibility or require the relocation of any utilities.
The agreement also stipulates that the expiration date for licenses will not extend beyond Aug. 14.