Lodging tax collections rise, but at a slower pace

A measure of hotel and motel stays in Grand Junction continues to trend upward, although at slower pace during June.

According to the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau, $159,673 in lodging taxes were collected during June. That was the largest dollar amount collected so far this year, but also constituted the smallest proportional year-over-year increase at just two-tenths of a percent over June 2015.

June collections reflect hotel and motel stays in May, and were buoyed in part by local sporting events and several conventions, the VCB reported.

For the first half of 2016, $566,441 in lodging taxes were collected, a 4.8 percent increase over the first half of 2015.

Other tourism- and travel-related indicators the VCB tracks offered something of a mixed bag for June.

Unique visits to the VCB Web site at www.visitgrandjunction.com were down 5.8 percent for June compared to the same month last year and declined 9.8 percent for the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. The VCB attributed the decline 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.

Meanwhile, 1,408 people were counted as visiting the Grand Junction Visitor Center in June and 4,819 during the first half of the year — down 27.6 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively. The VCB attributed the declines in part to construction of roundabouts on Horizon Drive that’s deterred people from visiting the center.

At the same, though, requests for visitor guides were up 40.5 percent for June and 21.7 percent for the first half of the year in what the VCB reported as an encouraging leading indicator of subsequent travel to Grand Junction.