Room tax collections in January were up 5.4 percent from the same month in 2017. While the increase is not monetarily significant, amounting to just $3,640, the improvement is important in a month that registered a decline between the past two years.
The City of Sturgeon Bay made up almost one third of the gains in January, with Gibraltar also showing a strong month.
While occupancy rates jumped from 15.02 percent to 17.91 percent between 2017 and 2018, the total dollars collected was somewhat stifled by the decrease in the average room rate from $116 to $102.
Despite the decrease in room rates, lodging facilities brought in $1,350,309 in revenue, up 5.1 percent, or $65,257, from last year.
Year over year room tax data in the slower winter months can be taken with a grain of salt. In low revenue months, large percentage swings in each municipality can be caused by just a few additional rooms rented or left vacant.
As an example, Washington Island’s 113 percent January gain above last year meant just $152 in additional room tax dollars collected.
Still, gains such as the one in Sturgeon Bay amounted to approximately $20,000 in additional revenue for lodging operators in the city.