City council approves $50,000 for Famously Hot New Year - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

City council approves $50,000 for Famously Hot New Year

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The Famously Hot New Year celebration is costing the city of Columbia $50,000 more than expected.

Organizers of the Famously Hot New Year asked city council Tuesday to approve $50,000 in supplementary Hospitality Tax funding, which it did.

"While the FHNY2014 event was extremely successful based on after-event surveys and social media response, it was short of expected revenues. The primary reason for the shortfall is its own success," reads the Memo Request for Supplementary Funding submitted to council at its work session.

The memo blames "the productivity of prior year FHNY celebrations" by encouraging "multiple venues to host competing VIP-type events that took away from FHNY2014 Crescent Lounge sales."

According to the request, there was a $35,000 shortfall in ticket sales for the Crescent Lounge and added expense of $5,000 for the Palmetto Penthouse.  The document also says although event organizers protested, they were required to pay an unanticipated $14,868 in taxes to the State Department of Revenue.

The document says "FHNY2014 was the event's most successful ever," in the three years it's been celebrated.

"Famously Hot New Year has quickly become the largest event of its kind in the Southeast," council member Brian DeQuincey Newman told WIS. "In just three years it has brought well over 70,000 visitors from all across the nation to downtown Columbia and supported our local businesses with nearly $4 million in economic impact."

"The recent funding accounts for minor shortfalls as well as future planning," he continued. "Of course we would expect some growing pains from time to time but, considering the return we've seen on our investment, I don't think there's any doubt that it's worth it which is why the
overwhelming majority of Council voted to approve last night's request."

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