Tourism Directly Impacting Community Organizations
How the Room Occupancy Fee Is Spent
Akwesasne, NY - There is a cascade of giving during the holiday season, and the Room Occupancy Fee from gaming tourism is delivering transportation and an unprecedented contribution towards vocational education. The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort began collecting the $10.00 fee earlier this year. Collectively, the hotel fees average $68,000 per month in revenue. The Room Occupancy Fee ordinance is intended to provide support for education, recreation and tourism programs for community members.
The Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club received a check for $38,000 to purchase a van to safely transport our youth to extracurricular activities and after-school programs. This spring, Head Start received $22,000. “We are grateful to have the funding to be able to provide safe transportation for our youngest students. This money allowed us to make up for a funding shortfall in our purchase of three buses,” shared Stephanie Cook, Executive Director of Education at the Tribe.
A check in the amount of $20,000 was donated to Salmon River Central to help develop a two-year vocational training in collaboration with BOCES in Malone. The funding will provide personal protection equipment, five oxygen acetylene torch outfits and metal, welding electrode and wire supplies. The two-year program will commence in the fall of 2015.
The buses formerly at Head Start have been gifted to two non-profit organizations. “It is our distinct honor to present the American Legion and the Mohawk Indian Housing Corporation with the buses being donated by the Tribe,” remarked Chief Paul Thompson. “We are thankful to be able to provide transportation for our Veterans, our elders and disabled community members.”
Future plans for the Room Occupancy Fee revenues include ongoing maintenance and anticipated expenses for Generations Field, a recreational park including fields, a lacrosse box and facilities in development for our athletes and families.