Initial room tax collections for November show a 2.2 percent increase above November 2016. Eighteen properties have yet to report for the month as of Jan. 24. Room tax collections for the year were up 3.9 percent through November, and that is likely to increase slightly as late collections are factored in.
That 2.2 percent gain doesn’t mean as much in the slower winter months, as collections rose from $93,021 to $95,094. Data in low-visitor months is particularly sensitive to small events and the shifts should not be seen as trends.
The 66 percent of collections going to the Door County Visitor Bureau (DCVB) will mean the bureau gets about $1,400 more than it received in November 2016. The DCVB received approximately $3 million through November 2017.
But even small gains are encouraging. In 11 of the past 13 years, November has been the least popular month to Google “Door County.” Lodging options decreased by 40 percent in the first month of the winter season as many operators closed for the winter.
Gains in the county were not spread evenly. The Town of Egg Harbor, Jacksonport, Sister Bay and Washington Island made the biggest improvements compared to 2016. The Village of Egg Harbor, Liberty Grove and Nasewaupee saw the biggest declines in November.
In Liberty Grove, November brought volatile occupancy rates and average room cost. As the year by year average room rate jumped 55 percent from $88 per night to $137, the occupancy rate fell 6.4 percent.