Lodging tax collections climb to record level for July

Lodging tax collections climbed to record levels in Grand Junction in July, a reflection of more business for local hotels and motels.

The Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau reported collecting $179,067 in lodging taxes, a 7.1 percent increase over the same month last year and the highest amount for a July in the history of the VCB. July collections reflect hotel and motel stays in June.

The latest number brings year-to-date lodging tax collections to $745,508. That’s an increase of $37,743 and 5.3 percent over last year with three months still remaining in the high tourism season.

For all of 2015, about $1.4 million in lodging taxes were collected, an increase of 9.1 percent over 2014.

Other tourism-related metrics the VCB tracks were mixed for July.

A total of 1,909 people were counted as visiting the Grand Junction Visitor Center in July — down 20.4 percent from the same month last year. That number brings year-to-date visits to the center to 6,728, down 22.5 percent from last year. The VCB attributed the declines in part to construction on Horizon Drive that’s deterred people from visiting the center.

Meanwhile, year-to-date requests for visitor guides totaled 6,957, an 11.4 percent increase over last year the VCB reports as an encouraging leading indicator of subsequent travel to Grand Junction.

Unique visits to the VCB Web site at www.visitgrandjunction.com through the first seven months of 2014 were 8.6 percent from the same spanning 2015. The the decline was attributed in part to a redesigned Web site that eliminated the need for both mobile and desktop sites and, consequently, referral traffic from the mobile site.