Lodging tax collections slip in September, but still up for year

Lodging tax collections slipped in Grand Junction during September, but continue to outpace last year.

The Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau reported that $153,061  in lodging taxes were collected during September, a decrease of nearly 1 percent over the same month last year. September collections reflect hotel and motel stays during August.

The September decline followed two consecutive months of record-breaking collections.

Through the first three quarters of 2016, $1,058,834 in lodging taxes were collected. That’s an increase of $44,049 and 4.3 percent over the same span in 2015.

For all of 2015, nearly $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.

A total of 1,864 people were counted as visiting the Grand Junction Visitor Center in September, up 10.8 percent over the same month last year. International visitors were up 43.4 percent, while out-of-state state visitors were up 9 percent.

The increase was attributed in part to the completion of construction along Horizon Drive, where the center is located.  A gap in year-to-date visitors to the center is expected to narrow.

The VCB received 1,383 requests for visitor guides during September, an almost 170 percent increase over the same month last year. Requests for visitor guides so far in 2016 totaled 9,000, an 18.1 percent increase over the same span in 2015.

The VCB reported 45,856 unique visits to its website at www.visitgrandjunction.com in September, down 7.8 percent from the same month last year. The latest number brings year-to-date visits to the website to 401,354, down 10 percent from the same span last year.

The VCB considers requests for visitor guides and Internet research leading indicators of subsequent travel.