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Room Tax Returns Indicate May Bump

Room tax revenues were up 6.5 percent in May over the same month in 2008, according to the latest reports from the Door County Tourism Zone.

Door County’s room tax reports showed lodging up 6.5 percent in May.

Total collections for the month in the same municipalities that were members of the zone last year were up from $115,521 to $123,036. The City of Sturgeon Bay, the towns of Sturgeon Bay, Union, and Forestville and the Village of Forestville were not members of the zone in 2008. Revenues for the month with those communities included came to $154,304.

The City of Sturgeon Bay has proved to be a big boost to the zone, surpassing the Town of Gibraltar in May for most room tax dollars collected in the month. The city brought in $30,973, Gibraltar collected $25,617, and Sister Bay was next at $17,612.

The percentage of room nights filled in May rose from 26.05 percent to 26.87, and the average daily rate (ADR) grew from $95 to $100.

February, March and April saw those rates plummet throughout the county, an indication of steep discounting by lodging establishments to entice visitors. The ADR in February dropped from $82 to $65, in March it dropped from $89 to $70, while April dropped from $82 to $67. Collections fell $1,314 (3.7 percent) in February, $6,507 (19.6 percent) in March, but rose $4,054 (15.9 percent) in April.

Daily rates returned to form in May, however, as only the Town of Liberty Grove reported a major drop, from $107 to $96. The rest of municipalities reported daily rates nearly even with 2008 reports or increases.

For the year $343,495 has been collected in room tax, with $103,648 going back to municipalities to spend how they wish and $228,027 going to the Door County Visitor Bureau for marketing purposes. The occupancy rate for the year is 19.41 percent, with an ADR throughout the zone of $83.

Numbers for June are expected in mid-August and should give an indication of how well the lodging industry is withstanding the nation’s economic instability.