Formation of Landmark Portland Tourism Development District

A huge congratulations to Portland, Maine, on the formation of the Portland Tourism Development District (PTDD) under the visionary leadership of Lynn Tillotson, President and CEO of Visit Portland.

The PTDD’s unique assessment method, based on the business activity related to each parcel within the district, creates a fair and rational funding model. This model leverages the average short-term room rental occupancy percentage and the Average Daily Rate (ADR) as reported by STR. This value is multiplied by one and one-half percent (1.5%), a method firmly grounded in the 36 Maine Revised Statutes §1811. The genius of this approach is the careful calibration of the funding model to the prosperity of the tourism sector itself. As the sector thrives, so too will the funds available for reinvestment into further growth and development.

With an impressive first full year budget projected at approximately $2,953,968, the PTDD is poised to provide a meaningful boost to Portland’s economy. It’s a testament to the meticulous planning and rigorous execution of the team led by Lynn Tillotson. The subsequent annual assessments will continue to evaluate the benefits accrued by the parcels based on the business activity, ensuring a cyclical, ongoing growth process.

The PTDD, an exceptional initiative that required both a comprehensive vision and meticulous attention to detail, is primarily designed to fund Sales, Marketing, Promotions, Destination Development, and Special Events. Notably, the district will also support sustainable initiatives and workforce development programs, reaffirming Portland’s commitment to a thriving, sustainable, and equitable tourism industry.

Tillotson, with her unyielding determination and innovative mindset, has relentlessly worked for over four years to bring this project to fruition. Through her leadership, the creation of the PTDD now sets an ambitious precedent for developing the Portland tourism industry while also sustaining the environment and enhancing the local community’s prosperity.

“As an organization funded 100% through membership dues over the last 40 years, we could not be more excited! Tourism is Maine’s #1 industry, and small businesses and their employees rely on visitor spending. We aim to increase awareness during the winter months to help level out the seasonality, ensuring workers have a more regular year-round schedule. In winter, Portland is a fantastic place to be, and we want to tell the world.” notes Tillotson. “These funds will significantly impact our ability to market our destination. Thank you, Civitas, for your unwavering dedication and help over these four years; we could not have done it without you.”

Congratulations to the team at Visit Portland and its leadership, Lynn Tillotson, whose vision and tenacity have made the PTDD a reality. They, as a team, have pioneered a new path for tourism and development in the city, paving the way for a future that is brighter, more prosperous, and more sustainable. We see great things for the tourism industry in Portland, Maine.

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