Room tax returns were up 5.2 percent countywide year over year for June, aided by a fifth Saturday in the month.
Though the numbers are preliminary and don’t include data from 63 properties that have yet to report, the returns show continued strong growth in tourism on the peninsula in the last three years.
Lodging entities collected $624,625 in June. Overall $1.18 million in room tax has been collected through the first six months of the year, 3.8 percent more than 2017.
Of that, 66 percent goes to the Door County Visitor Bureau for the promotion of overnight stays in the county, 4 percent goes to administrative costs, and 30 percent goes back to the individual municipalities to use as they choose.
Gibraltar led the way with $92,394 in collections in June, followed by Ephraim ($79,905), Sister Bay ($74,815) and the City of Sturgeon Bay ($72,322). Sturgeon Bay led the way in total room nights filled, with 20,690. That’s 4,200 more than any other municipality, though Sturgeon Bay’s average daily rate is $118, while the other three top collectors average more than $160 per night.
The Town of Egg Harbor saw the largest year by year growth in June, with an increase of 15.8 percent. The Landmark Resort, Door County’s largest lodging facility, is in the town and makes up the bulk of its lodging inventory, which means the extra Saturday in June could explain much of that increase. The Village of Egg Harbor and Town of Liberty Grove also saw double-digit increases, with returns up 12 percent in each community.
County returns up 10.3 percent since 2016
Overall, the county is up 10.3 percent in the first half of the year versus the same period in 2016. The county has filled 7,360 more rooms in that period in 2018 than in 2016.
Sister Bay saw large growth from 2016 to 2017 after the completion of the village’s Waterfront Park expansion and highway reconstruction projects, and the village has continued to build on that in 2018. Room tax returns through June are up 23.6 percent during the same period in 2016. The Town of Liberty Grove, with many lodging rentals just outside Sister Bay, is also benefiting from the Northern Door boom. Room tax returns in the town are up 25 percent over the first six months of 2016.
Sturgeon Bay is the only community to see a decrease in room tax revenue since 2016, though only slightly. City room tax returns are down $5,212, or 2.4 percent, in the first six months compared to the same period in 2016.