October room tax collections were down 5.4 percent from 2016 levels, a sour turn in an otherwise exceptional year for collections in Door County. Occupancy rates were down as well, dropping 10 percent from 2016 levels in October.
Total room tax collections for 2017 are still up 3.2 percent.
October is one of three months in 2017 to show collection declines compared to 2016. Collections in January declined 0.4 percent and February declined one percent. Late returns may soften the blow a little, as collections reported late usually make up about one percent of a month’s total.
Sister Bay and the Town of Egg Harbor were the only two municipalities to post gains in October, keeping with their trend of being two of the top performers for room tax gains.
Sister Bay’s October collections increased 2.8 percent, adding to their 9.63 percent increase for 2017 so far.
The Town of Egg Harbor also increased room tax collections by 2.8 percent, posting a 7.4 percent increase in total collections for 2017 so far.
While collections declined or remained flat in all other municipalities in October, Washington Island and Ephraim had particularly slow months.
Washington Island saw a 15.7 percent decrease in October room tax collections, but the loss was hardly enough to make a dent in the 8.66 percent increase in the island’s 2017 collections.
Ephraim continues to be the most sluggish municipality for room tax. After being the only municipality to post losses in September, the village saw another 10.7 percent decline in October, amounting to $8,690 less in revenue to the village. Ephraim is flat on year-to-date room tax collections.
The October declines also pushed the Village of Egg Harbor into the negative in year-to-date collections after remaining relatively flat through each month of 2017.
Occupancy rates in October stayed relatively flat across the county with a few exceptions.
Baileys Harbor occupancy rates decreased nine percent, even with fewer units available. Baileys Harbor room tax losses in October were held in check by an increase in the average room rate from $176 to $210 compared to last year.
Washington Island’s increase in occupancy rates can be attributed to having 32 percent fewer units available. But the number of units available is especially sensitive during the fringe months of the spring and fall, dictated more by when weekends fall on the calendar than consistent trends.