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Hotelier may lose tourism position

The San Luis Obispo City Council will consider removing a member from the Tourism Business Improvement District board on Tuesday in part because his hotels have not paid taxes due the city nor assessments due the district for the past four months.

The council is being asked by staff to consider removing hotelier Robert Mueller from the board at its 4 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

The staff report is from the council’s own liaisons to the district: Councilmen Allen Settle and Andrew Carter.

Settle, Carter and City Attorney Jonathan Lowell all are suggesting Mueller be removed from the district board, but also that the council introduce an ordinance that will change wording to specify future board members must be in good standing with the city to serve.

City Finance Director Bill Statler said his department believes the inns owe $69,000, excluding late charges.

That includes $57,500 in hotel or transient-occupancy tax due the city, plus $11,502 due the district.

He is an owner of the Donnington Motor Inn and the Days Inn, which are near each other among the collection of hotels along Monterey Avenue near Highway 101.

He is also a principal in Samata Management Inc., which owns a Cambria inn and a hotel in Lompoc.

The city collects 10 percent in hotel taxes that are charged directly to the guests by hotels. That so-called transient-ccupancy tax is a major source of revenue for the city.

The city also serves as the collector for an additional 2 percent assessment of hotel income, but it is provided by hotel owners to promote tourism through the district.

Mueller can be removed now, Lowell writes, because he serves at the pleasure of the City Council. But the additional action of writing the good-standing rule into the municipal code is designed to keep it from happening again.

Statler said hotels must pay the hotel tax and the district assessment monthly.

“In my 22 years, have we had hotels that paid late? Yes,” he said. “Have they paid late charges? Yes. Have we ever had anybody not make good on the amount owed us? No.”

— Sally Connell

Mindbody makes Inc. mag rankings

Founded in San Luis Obispo, Mindbody, Inc. was recently named the 370th fastest-growing private company and 21st fastest-growing software company in America by Inc. magazine.

In 1998, founder and CEO Rick Stollmeyer started developing management software for yoga, pilates, and indoor cycling studios.

Since then, Mindbody has developed Web-based scheduling and management tools that are used by 5,300 wellness businesses in 55 countries, according to a recent news release.

Inc. has listed America’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies annually since 1982.

— Julia Hickey

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