August room tax collections increased 4.8 percent more than the same month last year, according to a new report from the Door County Tourism Zone Commission. With 68 properties that have yet to report August collections, those gains should increase further, adding to a four percent growth in countywide room tax collections year to date from 2017.
A significant portion of the growth in collections can be attributed to the rise in the average room rate from last year. The average August room rate increased from $178 to $192 between 2017 and 2018. In the Town of Egg Harbor, average room rates jumped 36 percent from $159 to $216.
With higher demand in the summer months, lodging operators can charge more. The increase in average room rate did not appear to drive anyone away. The occupancy rate for August was 71.05 percent, an increase from last year.
The Town of Egg Harbor continues to drive the majority of growth in room tax collections. Collections in the town increased 12.9 percent compared to 2017, adding to a 12.09 percent increase year-to-date.
Sister Bay is also poised to overtake the City of Sturgeon Bay in room tax collections by next month’s report. The city saw negligible gains in August (1.6 percent) compared to an eight percent growth in Sister Bay. The village now trails the city by only $7,606 year to date, although Sturgeon Bay significantly outperforms Sister Bay in the early winter months.
Gains were widespread across the county, with 12 of the 17 municipalities that registered room rentals above their August 2017 collections. The Village of Forestville and the Town of Brussels did not have any room tax to report.
After a strong 2017, Jacksonport has struggled to improve on its room tax collections. The town was down 19.2 percent in August compared to last year, contributing to a 5.53 percent decline year to date.
The Town of Liberty Grove also saw big gains in August (13.2 percent), that contribute to an 8.79 percent increase in collections year to date.