A new report shows Columbia could seek voter approval to raise the hotel tax to pay for a new terminal at Columbia Regional Airport.
Cities like Columbia are authorized to impose a hotel tax of up to 7 percent to fund the "promotion, operation and development of tourism." The report also says the city could also legally levy a fee on each occupied hotel room. Kansas City has such a fee, charging hotels and motels $1.50 per occupied room.
Mayor Bob McDavid introduces the new Frontier Airlines route at a press conference at Columbia City Hall on August 16. (Behind McDavid, from left) Mike Matthes, Dan Atwell, Greg Steinhoff, John Glascock and Don Elliot.
The Columbia Regional Airport will offer nonstop flights to and from Orlando, Florida, beginning November 20. Frontier Airlines will fly 138 passengers directly between the Columbia Regional Airport and the Orlando International Airport in Florida on the Airbus 319. Mayor Bob McDavid told reporters at a press conference Thursday that the new route will increase the airport’s passenger traffic by 27 percent.
Beginning in September, most flights from Columbia Regional Airport will fly to Atlanta, rather than Memphis.
Currently, Delta Air Lines offers one daily flight to Atlanta and the rest of the flights go to Memphis.
Delta said Monday that starting Sept. 5, the morning flight Sunday through Friday will go to Memphis, while the midday and evening flights will go to Atlanta. On Saturdays, the morning and afternoon flights will go to Atlanta.
Columbia Regional Airport is starting its daily, non-stop service to Atlanta one week from today. The University of Missouri believes the new flight could open up opportunities for future enrollment. MU Senior Associate Director of Admissions Chuck May says the flight offers a direct connection to one of the busiest airports in the world.
The head of a Columbia Chamber of Commerce task force trying to find ways to improve air travel in Mid-Missouri says it will consider a smaller hotel tax increase, now that a larger one has appeared to stall. Greg Steinhoff says hotel owners in Columbia weren’t thrilled with the idea of a 3 percent increase to the hotel tax, with the proceeds to be used for airport upgrades. But now that an organization representing those owners has said it would support a 1 percent hotel tax increase, Steinhoff says his task force will try to figure out how far that money would go.