Preliminary reports from the Door County Tourism Zone Commission (DCTZC) show a 3.1 percent increase in room tax collections for September compared to last year. The gains were spread throughout the county, but Ephraim and Liberty Grove had particularly strong months. At the time the DCTZC released the report, 56 properties had not yet remitted room tax, so collections should continue to increase.
Collections in Ephraim increased 8.2 percent in September year against year. The village also saw occupancy rates rise two percentage points despite a five percent increase in average room rates up to $174 per night. Ephraim appears to have rebounded from a slow year in 2017, posting year-to-date gains of 6.19 percent.
Liberty Grove saw a 14.3 percent increase in room tax collection in September year against year, adding to the town’s 10.19 percent increase year to date. Liberty Grove joins the Town of Sturgeon Bay and the Town of Egg Harbor in double digit gains year to date. Occupancy rates in Liberty Grove rose just one percentage point (50.69 percent) but average room rates increased 10 percent up to $159.
Gains and losses in other municipalities were modest. Six municipalities (Washington Island, Union, City of Sturgeon Bay, Nasewaupee, Clay Banks and the Town of Egg Harbor) saw a decline in collections, but that could easily turn around once the remaining 56 properties report collections.
Countywide, room tax collections are up 4.7 percent year to date with $4.1 million in tax revenue split among the Door County Visitor Bureau, the DCTZC and the municipalities. September proved to be a busier month for lodging than June, with room tax collections and occupancy rates higher than the early summer month.